Scottish Politician of the Year Awards: All you need to know

The Scottish Politician of the Year Awards has become a signature moment in Scotland’s political calendar.

Established in 1999, the awards encourage the highest standards of political performance in both Holyrood and Westminster, and bring together the most influential figures in business and politics who will help shape Scotland’s future.

Read more: Scottish Politician of the Year Awards from 1999 to 2022, in pictures

Attended by senior decision makers, opinion formers, and elected representatives, they are key in scrutinising and recognising the achievements of our politicians at a local and national level.

The awards are back this year in association with Scottish Power, recognising those who have helped lead the country through another year of extraordinary upheaval.

When is the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2023?

The Herald’s Scottish Politician of the Year Awards will be held on Thursday, November 23 at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.

The evening will start at 6.15pm with a champagne and canape reception, followed by a seated three-course dinner and award ceremony, hosted by former STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby.

There are 11 big awards on the night, including: best Scot at Westminster, local politician of the year, debater of the year, one to watch, green champion, lifetime achievement award, and Scottish Politician of the Year.

Who is shortlisted for Scottish Politician of the Year 2023?

Herald Editor Catherine Salmond has chaired the judging panel, which went through long deliberations before coming to their decisions.

Three politicians have been shortlisted for the main award of the night, Scottish Politician of the Year.

They are deputy Scottish Labour leader Dame Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, and First Minister Humza Yousaf (SNP).

Nominated for best Scot at Westminster are: Scottish Lib Dem deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain MP, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn MP, and Secretary of State for Scotland Rt Hon Alister Jack MP (Conservatives).

Read more: The shortlist for the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2023

While the politicians shortlisted in the ‘one to watch’ category are: Russell Findlay MSP (Scottish Conservatives), Michael Marra MSP (Labour), and Elena Whitham MSP (SNP).

And there are a number of other categories including local politician of the year, Scottish Power green champion, and the lifetime achievement award, which will be announced on the night.

Who is attending the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2023?

Every year big names from Scottish politics, business, arts, education, charity and the media attend the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards.

Previous years have seen the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Ian Rankin attend, as well as Scottish political figures like Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond.

At this year’s event, our politician guests will include Anas Sarwar, Stephen Flynn, Angus Robertson, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Joanna Cherry, and more.

There will also be representatives from Scottish industry, the Scottish Government, charities, local councils, the BBC, STV and of course the Herald.

Previous winners of Scottish Politician of the Year Awards

Scottish Politician of the Year was won by Anas Sarwar in 2022, and has been previously received by the likes of Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Alex SalmondJohn Swinney, and Donald Dewar.

A particularly prescient award, One to Watch previous winners include Humza YousafKate Forbes, Kezia Dugdale, Patrick Harvie and Alex Cole-Hamilton.

Read more: Who has won Scottish Politician of the Year in previous years?

Best Scot at Westminster has been previously won by the likes of Stewart McDonald, Joanna Cherry, Paul Sweeney, Alison Thewliss, Angus Robertson, and Gordon Brown.