Voters across the north-east will go to the polls next month to decide the makeup of the next Scottish Parliament.
Candidates in each constituency are vying for all-important votes ahead of polling day on May 6.
Aberdeen Central was held by Labour’s Lewis Macdonald from the parliament’s creation in 1999 until 2011 when it was won by Kevin Stewart of the SNP.
The party then held the seat in 2016.
Here we profile each of the candidates hoping to win your votes in Aberdeen Central.
Kevin Stewart – SNP
Home: Aberdeen born and bred
Job: Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning in the Scottish Government.
Previous political experience: MSP for Aberdeen Central since 2011 and served on Aberdeen City Council for 13 years.
Key issue: Aberdeen has been hit with the triple whammy of the oil downturn, Brexit and the coronavirus and protecting and creating new jobs and securing a fair recovery is going to be vital for our future.
The SNP Scottish Government has invested £62 million for energy transition, has extended business rates relief for a further year here in Scotland and have allocated £3.4 Billion to deliver 100,000 new affordable homes in the next decade, which will protect 14,000 jobs, but more needs to be done.
£330 Billion of oil taxes has flowed from the north east of Scotland to the UK Treasury and it’s time for some payback. I will continue to fight for resources to provide funding for a just energy transition and for support for oil and gas companies diversifying into renewables.
Best quality: Not given
Worst quality: Not given
Message to voters: In the SNP recovery plan, we are creating jobs through our Young Persons’ Guarantee – but the Tories are costing us jobs through a hard Brexit.
We are planning to double the Scottish Child Payment, a game-changer in the fight against child poverty, while the Tories make cuts to welfare, punishing the most vulnerable.
We will invest record sums in our NHS – while making a four per cent pay offer to nurses and other staff which far outstrips the one per cent the Tories have offered elsewhere. And we know we can never trust Boris Johnson to keep our health service safe.
Let’s put Scotland’s recovery in Scotland’s hands with both votes for the SNP and a mandate to deliver Scotland’s independence.
Barry Black – Labour
Home: Old Aberdeen
Job: Education Policy Researcher
Previous Political Experience: Been a candidate in the 2015 and 2017 elections
Key issue: Closing the gap in educational attainment between the richest and poorest pupils in Scotland
Best Quality: Dons season ticket holder
Worst Quality: Dons season ticket holder
Message to voters: The next five years need to be laser-focused on recovery from the pandemic. All our efforts need to be on delivering a united National Recovery Plan focused on jobs, health, education, communities and the environment.
Douglas Lumsden – Conservatives
Occupation: Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council
Previous political experience: Councillor for Airyhall, Broomhill and Garthdee.
Best quality: Empathy. As a local councillor used to meeting constituents and doing everything I can to help them.
Worst quality: Time management – not enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Key issue: Protect jobs in the north-east, we need to make sure that economic recovery is top of our list. The last thing this area needs is more constitutional uncertainty.
Message to voters: We are being failed by the present representation in Aberdeen Central. We need an MSP who will stand up for the city and not just do what his party tells them to do. Issues like poor funding from Holyrood and local applications being overturned by the SNP Government highlights the central belt bias that we are up against. Aberdeen deserves better.
Desmond Bouse – Liberal Democrat
Political Experience: First-time candidate, have always been passionate about politics.
Key Issue: Mental health, cutting waiting times is absolutely essential. I firmly believe that the government must treat mental health as seriously as it treats physical health.
Best quality: I try not to give up and fight for what I believe in.
Worst quality: Stressing about things that I can’t change.
Message to Voters: If you would like to see an MSP elected which prioritises issues around recovering from the pandemic – in terms of jobs, the health service and education – instead of squabbling over the constitution, vote Lib Dem.
Guy Ingerson – Greens
Occupation: Student and retail assistant
Previous political experience: Stood as a candidate in the 2017 local elections for George St/Harbour, the 2019 UK general election for Aberdeen North and for the 2019 co-leadership elections for the Scottish Greens. Previously served as co-convenor of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Greens, co-convenor of the Rainbow Greens (LGBT+ wing) and sat on the Scottish Greens’ national elections and campaigns committee.
Key Issue: Green pandemic recovery, drug deaths and housing
Best Quality: Passionate. I give a lot of myself to the work I do.
Worst Quality: Imposter Syndrome. It’s tough when you’re working class to get into politics and to get elected.
Message To Voters: We need to vote like our future depends on it. Aberdeen needs a Green Recovery Plan that tackles expensive and poor housing, public transport and moving away from fossil fuel dependency. We also need to tackle our city’s drug problem by treating this as the public health emergency it is. Electing Greens is the first step in doing this.