Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, says today's election of Kezia Dugdale as the 4th leader of the Labour party in Scotland in 4 years will do nothing to stem the loss of confidence in Labour, as the Scottish Greens build towards becoming the main voice of progressive opposition at Holyrood.

Patrick said:

"Naturally I'd like to offer my congratulations to Kezia Dugdale, and to Alex Rowley as her deputy leader. But the clock is ticking for both of them, as they wait to find out whether their party will stay on the failed path defined by New Labour, or strike a radical new pose by electing a UK leader the members want but the party machine seems determined to undermine.

"There doesn't seem to be much chance of Kezia's party being able to connect with voters in time for the Holyrood election in May. Opinion polls and by-elections show support for Labour continuing to fall, while support for the Scottish Greens is steadily building."

Mr Harvie added:

"Alex Rowley is also due congratulations on becoming Deputy leader. It will be interesting to see whether he can persuade his party to back the many Green policies he supports such as bringing our railways back into public hands and ending the austerity agenda. Given the alleged plans already afoot against Jeremy Corbyn within UK Labour, we are not holding our breath for a different story in Scotland."

Patrick concluded:

"More than one in ten of our 9,000 members are former Labour members, and with our excellent field of MSP candidates already campaigning in local communities we are in a strong position to become a serious force at Holyrood. Many former Labour supporters are drawn to the Scottish Greens because they appreciated the positive and inclusive stance we took during the referendum, and they recognise our principles on social justice, a sustainable economy and local democracy.

"Scottish Greens have shown we are capable of challenging the Scottish Government while also being constructive, pulling Scottish politics in a progressive direction, away from the Conservatives. The role of holding the SNP to account and offering creative ideas for Scotland's future has never been more important, and it's a role Scottish Green MSPs are more than ready to fill."