WHEN West Dunbartonshire became one of only four areas of Scotland to vote Yes in the referendum, in common with many constituencies, the SNP did not then have a prospective candidate in place for the General Election.

A barnstorming performance at the hustings in Dumbarton in January helped Martin Docherty gain selection and the former seminarian’s powerful preaching of the SNP gospel went on to take a trick with the electorate in a constituency that stretches from the west side of Glasgow to Loch Lomond and takes in Clydebank, where Docherty was born and raised.

“My personal and political roots have always been in West Dunbartonshire,” said former Glasgow baillie Docherty. “My family are still there and I have worked in the constituency since leaving university, so this has been sort of a homecoming for me.”

Working from the age of 16, Docherty joined the SNP in 1991 and the following year he was elected as Scotland’s youngest councillor on the then Clydebank District Council in 1992 at just 21.

He returned to education, graduating from what is now Glasgow Met with an HND in Business Administration in 1997. Then it was off down south to the University of Essex for a degree in politics before a masters at the Glasgow School of Art.

Docherty then returned to Clydebank and spent nearly a decade working for West Dunbartonshire Community and Volunteering Services supporting and developing local community and volunteering organisations.

It was his job to source community funding and help deliver training and volunteering opportunities, work that he says gave him first-hand knowledge of the difficulties and issues facing the communities of West Dunbartonshire.

In 2012 he returned to local government as an SNP councillor and bailie on Glasgow City Council, representing the Anderston/City ward. He lives in Whiteinch, just over the border from his constituency, with his partner John.

Docherty feels that the referendum result in his constituency was a foretaste of what was to come at the election where he ousted sitting Labour MP Gemma Doyle with a 34.5 per cent swing and a 14,171 majority.

Not even the SNP’s stance against Trident counted against the party in an area where many jobs depend on the Coulport and Faslane naval bases, home of the British nuclear deterrent.

Docherty said: “People saw hope, they saw that there could be spending on the future of our children rather than Trident. I am committed 100 per cent to the people at Faslane and its future as a home for Scotland’s conventional armed forces, and the UK Government frankly fails miserably in its commitment to those forces.

“Our commitment is to sustainable conventional forces, and if you take Trident out of the equation, the UK Government fails in its commitment to its Nato allies – we will not have the same failure in an independent Scotland.”