For the first time, the Scottish Parliament now broadly reflects the ethnic makeup of Scotland as a whole, with 4.5% ‘colour coded’ ethnic minority MSPs, plus two ‘white’ immigrant MSPs. However, at the local government level, less than 1% of Councillors are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
There is very little (if any) data on participation in political parties and other civic organisations, both locally and nationally. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) highlights this issue in their report on barriers to participation in standing for local election in Scotland:
“data were not often systematically collected, whether by government or by political parties. This meant it was not possible to understand whether other protected characteristic groups were under-represented compared with the general population. […] Political parties do not seem to collect and publish data on levels of representation from membership, through to approved lists of candidates, candidates for selection, and candidates for election. Diversity data by stage would be very useful in helping political parties to understand and tackle barriers to diversity.”Equality and Human Rights Commission, Research report 125: Barriers to participation in standing for election to local government in Scotland. Link.
BAME MSPs: Foysol Choudhury, Pam Gosal, Sandesh Gulhane, Anas Sarwar, Kaukab Stewart, Humza Yousaf. Other immigrant MSPs: Maggie Chapman, Lorna Slater.
2021: Equality and Human Rights Commission, Research report 125: Barriers to participation in standing for election to local government in Scotland. Link.