Collecting signatures PE1987: Amend the Scotland Act 2016 to automatically trigger a by-election if an MSP/Councillor leaves their party

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Scotland Act 2016 to automatically trigger a by-election by compelling an MSP or Councillor to resign if they leave the party they were elected under.

Previous action taken

I have contacted the following MSPs in my region:
Neil Gray MSP (SNP) - Indicated the Scottish Government have no plans to pursue this legislation, suggested I pursue a public petition.

Stephen Kerr MSP (Cons) - Referred me to Graham Simpson.

Graham Simpson MSP (Cons) - Not currently looking at this issue.

Gillian Mackay MSP (Green) - No plans to pursue but supportive

Meghan Gallacher MSP (Conservative), Richard Leonard MSP (Lab) Monica Lennon MSP (Lab), Mark Griffin MSP (Lab) - All failed to respond.

Background information

In the UK political system there seems to be no set standards pertaining to what should happen when an elected MSP, MP or Councillor leaves or otherwise no longer belongs to the party that they were elected to represent.

Whenever such an act occurs there is usually shouting from supporters of the party they have left that they should “do the decent thing”, stand down and hold a by-election. This is a hypocritical stance as almost every party contains some representatives who have done the same thing.

The electorate seem however to be left out of this whole process and there is a real democratic deficit which should be addressed. We understandably lose trust in the politicians and the political system when such an act takes place.

I feel that it is now time that the Scottish Parliament addressed this and rebalanced the issue in the favour of the people and make the "decent thing" a legal requirement. We cannot reform Westminster, but we can clean up the Scottish system.

  • Created by James Cassidy
  • Collecting signatures until 6 December 2022 Petitions can collect signatures for a maximum of 4 weeks

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What happens next?

The petition will be considered by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee after it stops collecting signatures

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