The parties and their policies

Labour's challenge will be spearheaded by MEPs David Martin and Bill Miller as it seeks to build on the Scottish election result, which saw it emerge as the largest single party at Holyrood. There is some speculation that Labour could win as many as four seats, squeezing the other parties.

n David Martin has been the MEP for the Lothians since 1984. He is a vice-president (Deputy Speaker) of the European Parliament and a member of the Legal Affairs Committee.

David is a former Lothians regional councillor and before becoming an MEP he was a stockbroker's assistant. He is a former leader of Labour's MEPs.

He is the author of several European Parliament reports on the Maastricht Treaty and has written extensively on the ''democratic deficit''.

n Bill Miller has been the MEP for Glasgow since 1994 and is European Parliamentary Labour Party Whip. He is a member of the European Parliament Economic, Monetary and Industrial Affairs Committee.

Bill is a chartered surveyor and was a Strathclyde regional councillor and former chairman of the economic and industrial development committee.

n Catherine Taylor works for Aberdeen South MP Anne Begg and is a former Young Labour representative on Labour's NEC. She is on the ruling body of the Labour Party in Scotland, the Scottish Executive Committee, where she represents the interests of local organisations and women's sections. She has an MA in international relations. Catherine was the Labour Party candidate in Angus in the 1997 General Election.

n Christine May is the leader of Fife Council. She has worked as a catering manager in both public-sector and private-sector catering. She also lectured in business studies and public sector management at Fife College. Christine represents local government on the European Union Committee of the Regions and she is a board member of Fife Tourist Board.

n Hugh McMahon has been the MEP for Strathclyde West since 1984 and is a member of the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee. Before becoming an MEP Hugh was a headteacher. He is a former chairman of the Scottish Fabians and of the Socialist Education Association of Scotland.

n James Paton is a European policy adviser and guest lecturer in politics for the Open University. He is a former Shetland Islands councillor and housing vice-chairman. He is a voluntary youth worker and Oxfam volunteer. James is a former oil industry chemist and has worked for European Pharmacopoeia, part of the Council of Europe that sets standards for chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

n John Clifford is a European consultant and is qualified in European legal studies. He has specialised in European environmental legislation. John is a former Lothian regional councillor, chaired the environment strategy committee, and had responsibilities for European and inter-regional affairs. He was the council's representative on RETI (European Regions of Industrial Technology). He is a member of the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and of the commission on relations between the Scottish Parliament and the EU.

n Jeanette Harold is a local government officer specialising in community development. She has worked in the voluntary sector, providing support to unemployed people.She has been an active campaigner with community groups including Crime Concern and the Women's Aid Federation.

n Labour has signed up to a policy campaign document drawn up by the socialist group in the European Parliament, which sets out 21 commitments for a new beginning for the European Union in the 21st century. Areas covered include human rights, social justice, equal opportunity, and respect for international law.