The Liberal Democrats have chosen John Ferry to contest the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat currently held by Conservative Scottish Secretary David Mundell at next month’s general election.
John, 40, grew up in Airdrie, then took a degree in economics at St Andrews University.
He is a former financial journalist who freelanced in London, writing for British and American publications for years, before returning to Scotland, where he now has his own media relations firm.
“I am based at home in Peebles, but I still work in London a lot,” added John.
His wife Amy is a research nurse, and they have two young children.
In November, John was elected chair of the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale branch of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and he also chairs the Lib Dems’ Borders policy forum.
This is his first time as a candidate and, despite the fact that the Lib Dems finished fifth place at the 2015 election, with the SNP a close second, John is optimistic.
“I think people have reassessed our performance in the coalition government and realised we had a good moderate influence there,” he said.
“I think they are starting to realise some of the really good social democratic work that was done came from us and that we were a good moderating influence.”
He is also convinced that with the Conservatives now stronger nationally, there will be less tactical voting this time around.
“Last time, a lot of Lib Dem supporters voted Conservative because they did not want the SNP,” he said.
“This time, there is a good reason for people to vote with their head and their heart for the candidate who can best serve them.
“There is a mountain for us to climb to get a big swing back to Lib Dems, but Lib Dems have had strong support in this constituency in the past.
“There are moderate voters in this constituency who are not strident nationalists and who supported the SNP in 2015 on the basis of wanting to see strong opposition to Toryism at Westminster. Well, that idea has been road-tested for two years and has been found wanting.”
The Lib Dems are the only unequivocally pro-EU and pro-UK party, he added.