DOUGLAS FRASER and ROBBIE DINWOODIE Scottish politics is sometimes seen as a village, but the evidence from candidates standing for election this Thursday suggests it is becoming more of a family affair.

Mothers, daughters, sons and spouses are standing for election, and not always for the same party.

Joan Sturgeon hopes to become a councillor in North Ayrshire at the same time her daughter, Nicola, takes a seat in the Cabinet.

"We weren't political parents," said Joan Sturgeon. "Through Nicola, I became more aware of things and decided that at a local level, I'd like to have a go."

The Sheridans Solidarity leader Tommy Sheridan's mother, Alice, stands for the party in Glasgow City Council in Pollok. Sheridan's sister, Lynn, is standing for Holyrood in Central Scotland.

The Foxes Also on the left, in Lothian, there is a family split where Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox is opposed by sister Carol, standing on Labour's regional list.

Pringle versus Holland Another family is divided in the Edinburgh South constituency. LibDem incumbent, Mike Pringle, faces a Labour challenge but also has cousin Robert Holland standing for the SNP.

The Stewarts More harmonious will be David Stewart, Labour's former Inverness MP who lost two years ago and now wants to go to Holyrood on the party's Highlands and Islands list. He could be thwarted if his wife, Lynn, gains his old constituency from the SNP's Fergus Ewing.

The Macmillans Also on Labour's Highland list is Michael Macmillan, husband of Maureen Macmillan, a Labour MSP for more than eight years. She is not expected to win the Ross, Skye and Inverness West seat. She is standing against LibDem John Farquhar Munro.

Mother and daughter While Carolyn Leckie seeks to return to Holyrood as SSP MSP for Central Scotland, her daughter, Lynsey MacGregor, 20, is the party's candidate for South Lanarkshire Council ward in East Kilbride. She campaigned against Glasgow University withdrawing from Dumfries' Crichton Campus.

The Harvies Another mother on the campaign trail is Rose Harvie, whose son Patrick was elected four years ago as a Glasgow MSP. She wants to be a Green councillor in West Dunbartonshire.

The Sarwars Anas Sarwar, son of Glasgow MP Mohammad Sarwar, is at the top of Labour's list for the city's Holyrood seat.

The Gorries In Airdrie and Shotts, the next generation of the LibDem Gorrie clan hopes to break through in a Labour stronghold, with Robert seeking to take over where his father Donald has just left off as a Central Scotland MSP.

Partners in politics There are two husband-and-wife teams seeking a joint return to Holyrood.

Labour's Bill Butler and Patricia Ferguson hope to win back neighbouring Glasgow seats, while the SNP's Rob Gibson has ambitions to return as a Highlands and Islands MSP and hopes his partner, Eleanor Scott, also returns as the region's lead candidate running for the Green party.