Cara Hilton, 38, is a councillor for Dunfermline South ward and assistant to local Labour MP Thomas Docherty. She formerly worked for the shop workers' union Usdaw. The daughter of former MSP Cathy Peattie, she lives in Dunfermline with her husband and three young children.
l Scottish National Party: Shirley-Anne Somerville served most of the 2007-11 term as a Lothians list MSP after the resignation of Stefan Tymkewycz to concentrate on being a councillor. She has been working at Yes Scotland. Born in Kirkcaldy, she lives with her young family in North Queensferry.
l Scottish Conservatives: James Reekie, at 22, is the youngest candidate but stood in 2011 while still an Edinburgh University student. Born and raised in the town, his main themes have been help for small businesses and town centre regeneration.
l Scottish Liberal Democrats: Susan Leslie is a university lecturer and Fife councillor representing Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy. Her selection as by-election candidate was announced by then Scottish Secretary Michael Moore to party conference in Glasgow.
l Scottish Greens: Zara Kitson, 27, is an organiser with So Say Scotland, a citizens' assembly along Icelandic lines, and member of the pro-independence National Collective group. A former council candidate in Stirling, she started her own business, Dream Graft, to support firms and communities facing change.
l UK Independence Party: Peter Adam, his party's Scottish organiser, has had to resign as a member of Fife Health Board to fight the seat. He is treasurer of Kirkcaldy West community council and has lived in the Kingdom for 20 years.
l Independent: John Black has stood in the past under the banner of the Scottish Jacobite Party.