MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie pays tribute to ‘trailblazer’ Winnie Ewing
November 2nd 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the stunning Winnie Ewing success in the 1967 Hamilton by-election, producing a ‘ground-breaking’ moment in Scottish politics.
Winnie, already an accomplished solicitor, was encouraged to stand in the by-election following the resignation of the incumbent Tom Fraser MP. Several doubts were cast over the SNPs ability to compete for what was considered a Labour stronghold safe seat.
With many pundits and opponents predicting that the SNP would lose their deposit for the seat, with less than 10% of the vote, the election result quickly quietened any doubters. Winnie was elected as the Member of Parliament for Hamilton with 18,397 votes (46%), a majority of 1,779 over her Labour rival Alexander Wilson.
Heralded as a ‘trailblazer’ by current MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, the Hamilton 1967 by-election victory set the tone for subsequent elections.
Commenting on Winnie’s stunning election success, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:
“Winnie is the immortal trailblazer of whom we all walk in her footsteps.
“To follow on from her as the representative for Hamilton is an honour, but to call her my friend is the ultimate privilege.
“She is a great source of personal inspiration to me and inspires the work I’ve done for over 10 years as the MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.
“’Madame Ecosse’, as she was known by admirers and opponents the world over, put Scotland front and centre of the world stage – exactly where Scotland belongs.
“Winnie never tired of championing Scotland’s interests, whether as an MSP, MP or MEP.
“Tireless and fearless, Winnie led the way where I and many others will follow, and we will forever champion her greatest slogan ‘Stop the World; Scotland wants to get on’.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP added:
“Without Winnie, there never would have been any Scottish Parliament of any kind to be reconvened,”
Continuing, the First Minister said:
“Winnie’s role in Scotland’s national story and her outstanding service is worthy of national celebration. She was a trailblazer for women in Scottish, UK and European politics. Her time in national life was marked with significant successes and by her constant promotion of Scotland’s national interest in Europe, earning her the sobriquet of Madame Ecosse.”