George Leslie (politician)

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George Leslie
Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party
In office
LeaderWilliam Wolfe
Preceded byWilliam Wolfe
Succeeded byDouglas Henderson
Personal details
Born (1936-11-21) 21 November 1936 (age 82)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
ProfessionVeterinary surgeon

George Andrew Leslie (born 21 November 1936) is a Scottish National Party politician and a veterinary surgeon. He was the SNP's Senior Vice-Chairman 1969–1971.

Early life[edit]

Leslie was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied at Hillhead High School and Glasgow University before becoming a vet.[1]

Political career[edit]

He joined the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the early-1960s. He was selected to stand for the party at the 1967 Glasgow Pollok by-election.[2] During the by-election, one observer described his speeches as being in the style of Jimmy Maxton.[3] His campaign also featured the singing of both traditional and topical Scottish songs.[4] Although the party had never previously contested the seat, Leslie took 28% of the vote. The Labour Party share of the vote dropped considerably, enabling the Conservative Party to win - their last by-election win of the twentieth century in Scotland. Leslie's campaign marked the start of a year of successes for the SNP, including becoming the largest party in local government in Stirling, and victory in the Hamilton by-election.[5]

Leslie was soon elected to the Glasgow Corporation,[1] and, in June 1969, became the SNP's Senior Vice-Chairman.[6][7] Later, he served as a Strathclyde Regional councillor for East Kilbride, and he stood as the SNP candidate for Glasgow at the European Parliament election in 1979, taking 16.4% of the vote.[1]

During the early-1980s, Leslie was the SNP's Vice-Chairman for Policy.[1] He was the party's candidate in the high-profile Glasgow Hillhead by-election in 1982 but, despite campaigning hard, he finished in fourth place,[8][9] with 11.3% of the votes cast.[10] He stood again in the Hillhead constituency at the 1983 general election, but only received 5.4% of the vote,[11] He stood in Strathclyde East at the 1984 European election, taking second place with 17.6% of the vote,[1] then in Kilmarnock and Loudoun in the 1987 general election, taking third place but with 18.2% of the vote.[12] Standing again in Strathclyde East at the 1989 European election, he increased his share to 25.2%,[13] and finally at the 1992 general election he took 15.6% and fourth place in Glasgow Pollok.[11]

On 28 February 2010, Leslie formally launched a campaign to contest Kilmarnock and Loudoun at the 2010 general election.[14] However, he finished in second place, 12,378 votes behind the Labour Party candidate Cathy Jamieson.

Leslie currently remains an active member of the SNP in the Kilmarnock & Loudoun area.


  1. ^ a b c d e Guide to the European elections, 1984, BBC Political Research Unit, p.200
  2. ^ "S.N.P. name their man for Pollok by-election". The Glasgow Herald. 4 January 1967. p. 7. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  3. ^ Christopher Harvey, Scotland and nationalism, p.170
  4. ^ Chris Cook and John Ramsden, By-elections in British politics, p.185
  5. ^ Christopher Harvie and Peter Jones, The road to home rule: images of Scotland's cause, p.84
  6. ^ "S.N.P. work on patching split at conference". The Glasgow Herald. 2 June 1969. p. 16. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  7. ^ Billy Wolfe, Scotland lives, p.138
  8. ^ "SNP picks Hillhead candidate". The Glasgow Herald. 18 January 1982. p. 1. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  9. ^ Tom Gallagher, Nationalism in the nineties, p.59
  10. ^ Results of byelections in the 1979-83 Parliament
  11. ^ a b British Parliamentary Election results 1983-97: Scottish Burghs
  12. ^ British Parliamentary Election results 1983-97: Scottish Counties
  13. ^ United Kingdom European Parliamentary Election results 1979-99: Scotland
  14. ^ SNP 2010 UK General Election Candidates: George Leslie
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Gair
Scottish National Party Vice Chairman (Policy)
Succeeded by
Gordon Murray
Preceded by
William Wolfe
Senior Vice Chairman (Depute Leader) of the Scottish National Party
Succeeded by
Douglas Henderson
Preceded by
Jim Sillars
Scottish National Party Vice Chairman (Policy)
Succeeded by