|Member of the Scottish Parliament
31 August 2007 – 22 March 2011
|Preceded by||Stefan Tymkewycz|
2 September 1974 |
|Political party||Scottish National Party|
|Alma mater||University of Strathclyde
University of Stirling
Queen Margaret University
Somerville was born on 2 September 1974 in Kirkcaldy and attended Kirkcaldy High School, followed by the University of Strathclyde, where she took a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics and Politics (1996), the University of Stirling, where she took a Diploma in Housing Studies (1999), and Queen Margaret University College, where she took a Diploma in Public Relations. She worked as a parliamentary researcher for Duncan Hamilton MSP from 1999–2001, then as a Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing from 2001 to 2004, and as a Media and Campaigns Officer at the Royal College of Nursing from 2004 to 2007.
Somerville had stood as the SNP's candidate for Kirkcaldy at the 2001 UK general election, where she came in 2nd place with 22.2% of the vote, and for the Edinburgh Central constituency in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, where she came in 3rd place with 25.5% of the vote. On 31 August 2007, Stefan Tymkewycz resigned his seat in the Scottish Parliament representing the Lothians region in order to concentrate on serving as a City of Edinburgh councillor, and Somerville was selected to succeed him.