The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) elections 2021 opened on Monday, November 8, providing young people with the opportunity to have their say on their preferred candidates.

Seven candidates will stand to represent South Ayrshire, competing to hold two seats for the Ayr constituency and one seat for the Carrick Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency (CCDV).

For the Ayr constituency, the candidates are: Elliot Bisland; James McArthur; Georgia Lewis; and Monty Saunders.

And for the CCDV constituency the candidates are: Aicha Boudlal; Leo McDines; and RJ McKell.

Elliot Bisland said young people should vote for him because: “I thrive on challenges and I know I can make a difference, but, with your support, collectively our voice will be louder.”

James McArthur said: “If you are looking for someone who cares for what you believe in, wants to fight for your rights and represent you then I’m the person you should be voting for.”

Georgia Lewis said: “The idea of representing young people within South Ayrshire is very important and I feel I am dedicated and passionate in ensuring young people’s voices and thoughts are heard.”

Monty Saunders said he wants “to be a MSYP to help the young people achieve a better and brighter future”.

He added: “Young people should vote for me because I’m a good listener, will help in anyway I can and will help as many people as possible.”

As for the CCDV candidates, Aicha Boudlal said: “I want to be a MSYP because I want to help us through these troubling times and bring us to a hopeful future. You should vote for me as I am very passionate about helping others, I am a hard worker and I will listen to everyone about their issues.”

Leo McDines said: “I want the voices of the young people in my local area to be heard and I think I would be a good representative to do so.”

Last but not least, RJ McKell said: “It is my main purpose as your hopeful MSYP to listen, share and uplift on every available platform, the voices and experiences of young people.”

Councillor William Grant said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament is crucial for the representation of local young people, ensuring that their opinions and values are recognised so they can make a positive difference.

“Our young people are the future, therefore I would encourage anyone aged 12-25 years living in South Ayrshire to participate.”

Those aged 12-25 can vote at

Voting closes November 21.

The SYP is a representative body for young people across Scotland aged 12-25 years.

The mission, vision and values of the SYP are grounded within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), and as such, the SYP plays a crucial role in ensuring that young people have the ability to express their opinions and that their voices are heard on subjects that are important to them.

The SYP consists of Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) who play an active role in making sure that Scotland is inclusive and empowering for young people. In order to do this, MSYPs have a duty to consult with young people in their constituency to identify areas of improvement, with the aim of seeking solutions alongside fellow MSYPs.