June 30 1960
Motherwell and Wishaw
9259 in the 2003 Scottish Parliament Elections
Jack McConnell was educated at Arran High School
and at the University of Stirling where he graduated with a BSc Dip
Ed. He was elected as the President of Stirling University's Student
Union. Following University he began work as a Maths teacher.
In 1984 he was
elected to Stirling District Council aged 24 and was appointed to
the position of Treasurer from 1988-92 before becoming the Council's
leader in 1990, a post he kept until he became General Secretary of
the Scottish Labour Party in 1992.
His role as General
Secretary offered him a high profile within the Party and in 1999 he
was given the role of co-ordinator of the Devolution Referendum
Campaign for Labour by Donald Dewar.
He was elected MSP
for Motherwell and Wishaw in the 1999 Scottish Parliament elections
and took on the role of Finance Minister in the Executive taking
plaudits for reforms but also criticism for the on going costs of
the new Parliament building.
attempt at winning the top job in the Executive failed when he lost
out to Henry McLeish by 8 votes in the 2000 leadership ballot but
won a year later following McLeish's resignation when. as the sole
candidate, his candidacy was passed by a vote of the Scottish Labour
At the end of
November 2001 he was elected by the Scottish Parliament as the First
Minister after facing opponents such as John Swinney, the SNP
leader, Tory Leader David McLetchie and Independent MSP Dennis
Canavan. McConnell was the third First Minister since the Parliament
first met in 1999 and the first not to have been a Westminster MP
before entering the Parliament.
In 2003 McConnell
led his party into the second Scottish Parliament elections which
resulted with Labour remaining the biggest party with 46 MSPs - 6
down on the 1999 result