Dumbarton and the Vale’s current MSP Jackie Baillie has been reselected by members of the local Labour Party to contest the seat again at next year’s Holyrood election.

The Labour MSP has held the seat since 1999, when she became the area’s first ever female parliamentarian following the inaugural Scottish Parliament elections.

Ms Baillie was re-elected in 2011 on an increased majority, an election where Dumbarton was notable for being the only seat in Scotland to record a swing from the SNP to Labour.

Ms Baillie told the Reporter it has ‘been an honour’ to serve as the MSP for the past 16 years.

She said: “Standing up for Labour values in the face of SNP and Tory austerity is not only a great privilege but a real necessity.

“I am proud of my record as a strong campaigner who stands up for local people.

“While in government I introduced the first national strategy for tackling domestic violence against women and provided the funding to support women’s aid services.

“I also led calls for the Erskine Bridge tolls to be scrapped – something which has made a huge difference to people’s lives in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute. One of my proudest moments during this session was forcing the SNP to concede that it had the power and the resources to cancel out the effects of the ‘bedroom tax’ in Scotland.

“John Swinney said he didn’t want to ‘let Westminster off the hook’ in the run up to the referendum, but my backbench bill forced him to do the right thing by vulnerable Scots and effectively abolished the ‘bedroom tax’. I am grateful for the opportunity to stand again in Dumbarton constituency and look forward to leading a positive campaign based around the issues that really matter to local people.” As revealed in the Reporter, Leven councillor Gail Robertson was selected by the SNP to run against Ms Baillie in next year’s election.

The former Keil School pupil was picked by SNP members in the area in August, beating Glasgow business woman Suzanne McLaughlin, Alannah Maurer, and Helensburgh councillor James Robb.

First elected as a councillor in May 2012, Cllr Robertson grew up in a political household, with her father Iain Robertson another former SNP election candidate, and got involved in the SNP branch in Dumbarton when she was just 17, the first year of the Scottish Government elections.