Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 12:06 UK

Glasgow East: Candidate profiles

The Glasgow East by-election was triggered by the resignation of the sitting MP, David Marshall, on health grounds.

Here, the BBC Scotland news website looks at each of the candidates and gives them the chance to state their case.

CHRIS CREIGHTON, INDEPENDENT

Chris Creighton in his own words

Chris Creighton lives in the south side of Glasgow and is currently a mature student studying politics at the University of Glasgow.

He is standing on a ticket of constitutional reform, particularly the abolition of the monarchy.

Mr Creighton was one of nine candidates who contested the Glasgow Cathcart by-election in 2005, following the resignation of Labour's Mike Watson.

The independent came eighth, polling 59 votes. The seat was won by Labour's Charlie Gordon.

Mr Creighton has served on three community councils. While staying in Easterhouse, between 1990 and 1995, he was involved in the Easterhouse Central Community Council, Blairtummock Residents Association and Blairtummock Housing Association.

FRANCES CURRAN, SCOTTISH SOCIALIST PARTY

Frances Curran in her own words

Frances Curran, 47, is one of the founding members of the SSP and joint national spokesperson with Colin Fox.

She was one of six socialist MSPs elected for the West of Scotland at the 2003 Holyrood election.

However, the party's representation was wiped out in the 2007 vote following its acrimonious split with former convener, Tommy Sheridan, who went on to form Solidarity.

Ms Curran has been involved in socialist and community campaigns for more than 20 years.

In 2005, she played a leading role in organising protests outside the G8 summit at Gleneagles. She has also campaigned widely against Trident nuclear weapons, school closures and for free school meals.

MARGARET CURRAN, SCOTTISH LABOUR PARTY

Margaret Curran in her own words

Margaret Curran, 49, is currently the MSP for Glasgow Baillieston - a seat she held last year with a majority of nearly 4,000.

Before being elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, she had a wide range of experience of local government and community education work and a stint as an election agent.

When Labour formed a power-sharing coalition at Holyrood with the Liberal Democrats, Ms Curran served as social justice minister, a post later renamed as communities.

Following Wendy Alexander's resignation as Scottish Labour leader last month, Ms Curran said she was actively considering whether or not to stand.

Is she is elected in Glasgow East it is highly unlikely that any Scottish leadership bid would follow. She has stated, however, that if she won the seat, she would serve as an MP and MSP for the foreseeable future.

DR EILEEN DUKE, SCOTTISH GREEN PARTY

Dr Eileen Duke in her own words

Dr Eileen Duke, 60, is currently the Scottish Green Party's co-convenor for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

A native of Dundee, she has lived in Glasgow since 1979.

She worked as a doctor in the city for 23 years before retiring.

Dr Duke was a Liberal Democrat activist for many years but left the party over her concerns about the environment.

She joined the Greens in 2005 and was on the party's regional list for Glasgow in the 2007 Holyrood election.

HAMISH HOWITT, FREEDOM 4 CHOICE

Hamish Howitt in his own words

Scots-born Hamish Howitt, 55, is a pub landlord from Blackpool who hit the headlines by opposing the smoking ban in public places.

He was the first landlord in England to be prosecuted for allowing customers to light up and has been fined twice by the courts.

Mr Howitt was one of 26 candidates to contest the Haltemprice and Howden by-election on 10 July, following David Davis's decision to resign and stand again.

He came 13th with 91 votes - one place behind David Icke - and lost his deposit.

Mr Howitt is a non-smoker and says he is not pro-smoking, but pro-choice.

JOHN MASON, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY

John Mason in his own words

John Mason, 51, is originally from Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, and has lived in Glasgow's east end for 18 years.

After training as an accountant, he worked for housing associations, nursing homes and with a charity in London.

He also spent three years in Nepal with a non-government organisation representing churches from all over the world.

Mr Mason was elected as a Glasgow City councillor for the Garrowhill ward in 1998 at a by-election and held the seat in 1999 and 2003.

He has led the SNP group on the council since 1999 and was elected in 2007 as councillor for the new ward of Baillieston. Mr Mason is the SNP's longest serving Glasgow councillor.

TRICIA McLEISH, SOLIDARITY

Tricia McLeish in her own words

Tricia McLeish, 44, from the party's Shettleston branch, has been an active socialist for more than 20 years.

She was born and lives in Shettleston and was educated at St Andrews in Greenfield.

Ms McLeish works as a technical officer for Glasgow City Council's land and environmental services and was a Unison (and previously Nalgo) shop steward in the council's housing department for 15 years.

After being suspended from the Labour Party for her involvement in the Anti-Poll Tax Federation, she went on to become a founder member of the Scottish Socialist Alliance, the Scottish Socialist Party and then Solidarity.

She is a member of the party's national steering committee and has taken a leading role in campaigns against the privatisation of public services.

DAVENA RANKIN, SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES

Davena Rankin in her own words

Davena Rankin, 35, was educated at Knightswood Secondary School in Glasgow and the University of Sussex where she graduated with a BSC (Hons) in Medicinal Chemistry.

She has worked for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the TSB bank, Glasgow University, Glasgow Caledonian University and carried out basic training as a Royal Naval Officer.

Ms Rankin is an active member of the union Unison and is branch secretary of the Glasgow Caledonian University branch.

She sits on the national women's committee, national black members committee, the higher education service group executive and chairs the Scottish women's committee.

Her recent electoral experience includes fighting the Glasgow Kelvin seat during the 2001 General Election and the Glasgow Kings Park ward in the 2003 council election.

IAN ROBERTSON, SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Ian Robertson in his own words

Ian Robertson, 30, is a maths teacher at Bellahouston Academy in Glasgow.

He was a candidate for the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency in the 2005 general election.

Mr Robertson served as president of Strathclyde University Student Association between 2003/2004.

He has also been a board member of the Glasgow Council on Alcohol.



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SEE ALSO
Voters head to by-election polls
24 Jul 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Glasgow East constituency profile
09 Jul 08 |  Scotland
Key UK by-elections in Scotland
21 Jul 09 |  Scotland
By-election looms after MP quits
30 Jun 08 |  Scotland politics

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