A FORMER STV weatherman and politician who claimed referendum No voters were bad parents is attempting a political comeback.

Lloyd Quinan, who was an SNP MSP between 1999 and 2003 but quit the party and defected to the Scottish Socialist Party, is ranked ninth on the party list in the Lothian region after making a return to the nationalist fold.

In August last year, the SNP distanced itself from Mr Quinan after he stated those who voted against independence would be bad parents, claiming he had not been a member for more than a decade. However, he later rejoined the party and unsuccessfully attempted win selection as a Westminster candidate last May. A party spokesman said that all SNP candidates would "represent people however they voted in the referendum".

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond's chief of staff, Fergus Mutch, has secured the number two slot on the North East Scotland list while Emma Harper, who was narrowly defeated by Scotland's sole Tory MP David Mundell at the General Election, has a strong chance of being selected in the south of Scotland.

Of constituency SNP candidates, 42 per cent are female, compared to 28 per cent in 2011. Of the regional list nominees, 45 per cent are women, a rise of 19 per cent since the last Holyrood election.