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‘A special and important moment’: Kaukab Stewart becomes first woman of colour elected to Holyrood

The SNP’s Kaukab Stewart has become the first woman of colour elected to the Scottish Parliament after securing a win in Glasgow Kelvin.

The seat was always set to be a history maker at this election as Ms Stewart aimed to hold on to the seat vacated by retiring SNP MSP Sandra White against Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie who sought to become the party’s first constituency MSP.

In the end, it was the SNP hopeful who secured victory by a majority of more than 5,000 after securing 14,535 votes against Mr Harvie’s 9,077.

Labour finished in third place with Pam Duncan-Glancy winning 8,605 votes and Grahame Cannell, of the Conservatives, came in fourth on 2,850 votes. David McKenzie of the Lib Dems finished in fifth place, with 977 votes.

‘It is without doubt an honour’

Following her victory, Ms Stewart said she was proud to be elected as an MSP in “one of the most diverse vibrant communities, in Kelvin.”

She said: “It is without doubt an honour to be elected as the first woman of colour to the Scottish Parliament.

“It has taken too long but to all the women and girls of colour out there, the Scottish Parliament belongs to you too, so whilst I may be the first, I will not be the last.”

Mr Harvie, a veteran politician who was first elected as a regional MSP for Glasgow in 2003, had hoped to win the seat following Ms White’s retirement and predictions of a surge in support for the Greens.

Co-leader of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie (left) watches the votes being counted for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.

Greens suggest lack of students due to Covid hampered their chances

However, with hours of the count still to go on Saturday, Mr Harvie conceded he expected Ms Stewart to win but that the Greens had seen “movement in the right direction – especially in the regional list results”.

He added that a lack of canvassing and fewer students – who have traditionally made up a significant portion of the Green vote – living in the area because of the coronavirus pandemic had both had an impact on the result.

It comes as a further blow after Alison Johnstone saw her vote share fall in Edinburgh Central on Friday as former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson stormed to victory in Ruth Davidson’s old seat.

Mr Harvie tweeted his congratulations to Ms Stewart, writing: “Congratulations to Kaukab Stewart on her election as the new MSP for Glasgow Kelvin.

“Many thanks to the record number of Green voters, and to all my fellow candidates for a very good natured contest.”

A ‘special and important moment’

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted her congratulations to the new MSP saying: “Party politics aside, this is a special and important moment.

“It has taken far too long, but Kaukab Stewart is the first woman of colour to be elected to the Scottish Parliament. I could not be prouder right now.”

Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson tweeted: “Party politics aside, this is great for Holyrood and congratulations to Kaukab Stewart.

“We hope very much she won’t be the last – not even the last today with Pam Gosal well placed on the West of Scotland list for Scot Tories.”

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