The Midlothian and Scottish Borders Scottish Conservative Associations have announced that Michelle Ballantyne will be their candidate for the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale constituency in the Scottish Parliament.
Mrs Ballantyne was last week selected as the candidate, and will contest the seat at the Scottish Parliamentary elections set to be held in 2021. She stood for the seat in the 2016 election and increased the Scottish Conservative’s vote share by 16.8 per cent. However, the SNP’s Christine Grahame held onto her seat, which she won in 2011. The Conservative candidate had to settle for a South Scotland List MSP role.
Ms Grahame and Mrs Ballantyne have been involved in a political spat this year, clashing on issues such as education, Universal Credit and the Borders Railway.
Mrs Ballantyne, who is still currently a list MSP for South Scotland, said it was “an honour” to be re-selected as a candidate for the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale constituency, and is looking forward to making her case to local voters.
She said: “Having lived and worked in the constituency for the past 29 years, raised my six children and built our business in the constituency, I know the challenges both young and old face.
“I believe its important politicians bring real life experience and knowledge to the role. I’ve worked extensively in the public, private sector and charity sectors and I hope to continue to bring my operational and strategic understanding to the political arena.
“I am looking forward to what I’m sure will be a very robust campaign and to making the case as to how I can best serve the people of Midlothian South, Lauderdale and Tweeddale.”