Election 2015

Election 2015: Who are the 56 new SNP MPs?

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon (C-L) celebrates with the seven new MPs for Glasgow Image copyright EPA

The SNP will have its largest ever tally in the new Parliament, with 56 MPs. But who are the men and women representing the party at Westminster?

The new SNP group at Westminster is a mix of hardened party activists and recent recruits. Among the ranks are some who have joined the party with in the last year, as well as experienced councillors and former members of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood. From a 20-year-old student to a former rock star, here's a guide to some of them.

Tommy Sheppard

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tommy Sheppard, left, used to work for the Labour Party

The new MP for Edinburgh East is an ex-Labour councillor and former deputy general secretary of the Scottish Labour Party. For years, he has run the Stand Comedy Club, which plays hosts to some of the top names in British comedy. In that job, he has played a key role in Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Mr Sheppard has been a member of the SNP for a matter of months, joining after the Scottish independence referendum last year. At the time, he told the Edinburgh Evening News that he was not a nationalist, but thought the party best represented Scotland's interests.

John Nicolson

Image copyright Reuters

Mr Nicolson beat senior Lib Dem Jo Swinson to take the East Dunbartonshire seat. He is a former speech writer for a US senator and a former BBC journalist, who reported for Panorama, Newsnight and Watchdog among others. He presented BBC News 24's live coverage of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

Mr Nicolson has been a member of the SNP since he was 16.

Natalie McGarry

Image copyright PA
Image caption The new MP for Glasgow East poses with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, and other newly elected SNP MPs Patrick Grady and Christopher Stephens

The new MP for Glasgow East comes from a family of SNP activists - her mother is a councillor and her aunt is an MSP. But her partner is Glasgow's sole Conservative councillor.

Ms McGarry was a prominent member of the Women for Independence campaign during the referendum campaign. On Thursday, she defeated Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran to win this seat, where Labour had a massive 11,000 majority last time. It was, however, held briefly by the SNP before, when John Mason won a by-election in 2008.

George Kerevan

Image copyright SNP

The new MP for East Lothian is a prominent Scottish journalist and another former member of the Labour Party. He served as a Labour councillor in Edinburgh for 12 years before switching allegiance to the SNP. He stood for the Nationalists in Edinburgh East in 2010 and was beaten by 9,181 votes, but has managed to turn that deficit around and unseat Labour's Fiona O'Donnell.

Alex Salmond

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Alex Salmond is back at Westminster, but what role will he play?

You might have heard of this man before. Mr Salmond was an MP for 23 years before standing down to focus his attention on the Scottish Parliament. He was leader of the party twice and is Scotland's longest-serving first minister.

Now, he's back at Westminster. But what role will he play in the new SNP team? Angus Robertson was the party's Westminster leader in the last Parliament. Does Mr Salmond want his job?

Mhairi Black

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Student Mhairi Black beat Labour election guru Douglas Alexander

One of the most remarkable upsets of election night, Ms Black beat Labour's election guru and former shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

Ms Black is a student at Glasgow University and has said she intends to sit her finals despite becoming one of the youngest MPs in recent times, aged just 20. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she studies politics.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

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The new MP for Ochil and South Perthshire has not always been an SNP supporter. She was a member of the Conservative Party until 2000, standing for the Scottish Parliament for the Tories in 1999. She left the party over its policy on asylum seekers and joined the SNP in 2000. It later emerged that she had also been a member of the Labour Party in the 1990s and campaigned for former Glasgow Labour MP Mohammad Sarwar.

In 2013, she was made an OBE for services to business and to Scotland's Asian community.

Roger Mullin

Image copyright SNP

Mr Mullin scored another remarkable victory on election night, overturning a Labour majority of 23,000 in what used to be Gordon Brown's seat. Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was, in 2010, Labour's safest seat in Scotland.

Mr Mullin is an honorary professor at the University of Stirling and a former vice-convenor of the SNP.

Kirsten Oswald

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Oswald defeated Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy in the East Renfrewshire seat

Ms Oswald was responsible for another of the biggest SNP coups on election night - taking Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy's seat in East Renfrewshire. She joined the party last year and was a member of the Women for Independence group that campaigned around the referendum.

She was criticised by some after writing to Conservatives in the constituency asking them to "lend" her their vote.

Ian Blackford

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Mr Blackford hasn't always been a favourite of the SNP leadership. In 2000, he was suspended as party treasurer after a motion of no confidence was passed at the SNP conference. He threatened to sue Alex Salmond amid the row.

But now he's back in the fold. On Thursday, he beat former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy in Ross, Skye and Lochaber.

Joanna Cherry

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The new MP for Edinburgh South West is an advocate who was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2009. Ms Cherry joined the SNP in 2008 and co-founded the Lawyers for Yes campaign ahead of the independence referendum. She succeeds former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling - who had a 5,447 majority in 2010 - as MP.

Stuart Donaldson

Image caption The 23-year-old's celebrated his win with his mother who is Public Health Minister in the Scottish government

Mr Donaldson, the new MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, comes from a political family. His mother Maureen Watt is minister of public health in the Scottish government. After her son, 23, was selected to contest the seat, she told the Press and Journal newspaper: "I am flabbergasted. Someone who was quite resistant to ever delivering a leaflet for me is now standing for the Westminster parliament."

Drew Hendry

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Mr Hendry - the leader of Highland council - beat former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. He has previously told the Ross-shire Journal it was the 1979 devolution referendum in Scotland that sparked his political awakening - when he was just 13 or 14.

Pete Wishart

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The SNP MP was thrilled to more than double his majority in Perth and North Perthshire

Mr Wishart has represented Perth and North Perthshire since 2005, and was MP for North Tayside before constituency borders were redrawn. As well as being a prolific tweeter, he was a member of the bands Runrig - of Loch Lomond fame - and Big Country.

Until 1998, he was a member of the Labour Party.

Anne McLaughlin

Image copyright SNP

Winning Glasgow North East is another major scalp for the SNP. In 2010, Labour had a massive majority of 15,942. Willie Bain, the former MP, took almost 70% of the vote last time. Ms McLaughlin was an MSP between 2009 and 2011, having taken one of the SNP's regional list places after the death of Bashir Ahmad.

The others

Image copyright SNp
Image caption Top row (from left) - Kisrty Blackman, Callum McCaig, Neil Gray. Bottom row (from left) - Mike Weir, Brendan O'Hara, Corri Wilson

Aberdeen North - Kirsty Blackman, has been a councillor since 2007 and is Convener of SNP Group on Aberdeen City Council.

Aberdeen South - Callum McCaig is SNP Group Leader on Aberdeen City Council . He was also elected to the council in 2007. He used to be council leader, first taking that role at the age of just 26. He beat Anne Begg, the areas's MP since 1997.

Airdrie and Shotts - Neil Gray is a former BBC journalist. He has worked for SNP MSP Alex Neil as a researcher and office manager. He overturned Labour's 12,408 majority from 2010.

Angus - Mike Weir had been elected to Westminster three times before Thursday's election, taking this seat in 2001, 2005 and 2010.

Argyll and Bute - Brendan O'Hara - a former TV producer - had stood twice for the party before his election. He won this seat despite the SNP coming fourth in 2010.

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock - Corri Wilson is an SNP councillor in South Ayrshire. The SNP came third here last time.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Eilidh Whiteford; Calum Kerr and Paul Monaghan. Bottom row (from left) - Philippa Whitford, Philip Boswell and Stuart McDonald

Banff and Buchan - Eilidh Whiteford first won election to Westminster in 2010 after Alex Salmond stood down as MP for the constituency.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk - Calum Kerr was Chair of Yes Scottish Borders. He works for a telecommunications company. This is another seat where the SNP were a distant fourth last time - the previous SNP candidate took just 9.2% of the vote.

Caithness, Sutherland and Easter - Paul Monaghan is a Director of the Highland Homeless Trust. He joined the SNP in 1994 and founded the "Yes Highland" group in the run up to the independence referendum.

Central Ayrshire - Philippa Whitford was born in Northern Ireland and is a consultant surgeon. She played an active role in the referendum campaign. In 2010, the SNP finished third behind the Conservatives.

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill - Philip Boswell is a quantity surveyor and is married with three children. He overturned Labour's 20,714 majority from 2010 to win here.

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East - Stuart McDonald has been an SNP activist for twenty years after joining the party aged just 20. He works for a Glasgow-based anti-racism charity.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Richard Arkless; Stewart Hosie and Chris Law. Bottom row (from left) - Douglas Chapman; Martin Docherty and Lisa Cameron

Dumfries and Galloway - Richard Arkless is a former lawyer who runs his own online business. The SNP finished third here in 2010, 17,000 votes behind Labour.

Dundee East - Stewart Hosie is deputy leader of the SNP and has been MP here since 2005.

Dundee West - Chris Law runs his own business as a financial advisor. He says he has been "galvanized" by politics in the last seven years.

Dunfermline and West Fife - Douglas Chapman is a councillor for Rosyth. He made up a 17,000-vote deficit to win this seat.

West Dunbartonshire - Martin Docherty was first elected a councillor in 1992 at the age of 21. He currently sits on Glasgow City Council.

East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow - Lisa Cameron is an NHS consultant and union representative.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Deidre Brock; Michelle Thomson and John McNally. Bottom row (from left) - Alison Thewliss; Patrick Grady and Carol Monaghan

Edinburgh North and Leith - Deidre Brock is Deputy Lord Provost of Edinburgh. She was born in Australia and decided to move to Scotland after a holiday in the country.

Edinburgh West - Michelle Thomson is a small business owner who was managing director of the pro-independence Business for Scotland group. According to the SNP, she spoke at more than 90 events before last year's referendum.

Falkirk - John McNally is a local councillor in Falkirk. He previously contested the seat against Eric Joyce in 2010, coming second.

Glasgow Central - Alison Thewliss is a councillor in Glasgow. She overturned Labour's 10,000 majority, defeating former deputy Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Glasgow North - Patrick Grady has been national secretary of the SNP since 2012.

Glasgow North West - Carol Monaghan has worked for many years as a science teacher at a school in Glasgow. She overcame a 10,000 majority to win this seat.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Stewart McDonald; Christopher Stephens and Peter Grant. Bottom row (from left) - Ronnie Cowan; Alan Brown and Angela Crawley

Glasgow South - Stewart McDonald works for SNP MSP James Dornan. He beat former MP Tom Harris to take the seat.

Glasgow South West - Christopher Stephens is a union activist employed by Glasgow Council. He stood in this seat in 2010, losing by almost 15,000 votes. Not this time.

Glenrothes - Peter Grant is a former leader of Fife Council. He succeeds Labour's Lindsay Roy, who did not contest the election, as MP.

Inverclyde - Ronnie Cowan runs his own IT company. He ran the pro-independence campaign in Greenock.

Kilmarnock and Loudoun - Alan Brown has been a local councillor for eight years.

Lanark and Hamilton East - Angela Crawley is councillor in Hamilton. She is convenor of the SNP's youth wing. She overturned a healthy Labour majority of 13,478 to win this seat.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Martyn Day; Hannah Bardell and Angus Robertson. Bottom row (from left) - Marion Fellows; Angus MacNeil and Patricia Gibson

Linlithgow and East Falkirk - Martyn Day is another councillor. He overturned a majority of 12,553.

Livingston - Hannah Bardell is a former journalist who worked for STV Glasgow and GMTV in London. She won this seat, formerly held by the late Labour MP Robin Cook, overturning a Labour majority of 10,791 in 2010.

Moray - Angus Robertson has been the SNP's leader at Westminster since 2007. He has been MP for Moray since 2001, when he took over from Margaret Ewing.

Midlothian - Owen George Thompson is leader of Midlothian council. He was first elected to the council in 2005, at which point he was the youngest councillor. He won this seat with over 50% of the vote - despite the SNP finishing 10,000 votes behind Labour in 2010.

Motherwell and Wishaw - Marion Fellows is a councillor and has taught in further education. She beat Frank Roy, who had been MP here since 1997.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) - Angus MacNeil has been an SNP MP since 2005.

North Ayrshire and Arran - Patricia Gibson teaches English, is a local councillor and has been active in the party for 17 years.

Image copyright SNP
Image caption Top row (from left) - Stephen Gethins and Gavin Newlands. Bottom row (from left) - Margaret Ferrier and Steven Paterson

North East Fife - Stephen Gethins used to be an adviser to the first minister on European and international affairs. This seat was previously held by Menzies Campbell, the former Lib Dem leader who stepped down at the election.

Paisley and Renfrewshire North - Gavin Newlands is a community councillor. He overturned a massive 15,280 Labour majority from 2010.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West - Margaret Ferrier works for a manufacturing construction com pany and is an elected community councillor. She overturned Labour's Tom Greatrex's 21,002 majority.

Stirling - Steven Paterson has been a councillor since 2007. He also works as a researcher for MSP Bruce Crawford. He succeeds Anne McGuire, who stood down at the election.

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