Since 1918 Labour have had 18 MPs in Scotland's capital but it all that time only one woman, Lynda Clark, for eight years 1997-2005 has been representative for them in Edinburgh Pentlands. She of course then chose not to stand in the Edinburgh South West seat to allow Alistair Darling to find a seat after Edinburgh Central was wiped off the Westminster map.
However, with Gavin Strang stepping down in Edinburgh East at the next general election Labour are considering making some amends for that by considering having a women only shortlist for his replacement. A similar tactic is being used next door to West Lothian for the Airdrie and Shotts seat being vacated by John Reid.
Having recently watched the docu-drama of Mrs Thatcher's early days in politics it does seem sad that there is still something of a glass ceiling in getting through the selection process so often for female candidates. Having seen and worked closely with some excellent female candidates in the past I know that there is no disadvantage in selecting the right candidate irrespective of gender but sadly too many of those involved in some politics still will always place a man before a woman in their voting preference at selection level. Once any candidate has crossed that threshold it is largely the popularity of their party that makes up the bulk of their vote, their own popularity or lack of, making up the topping; which can create a effect either to hold, or take a surprise gain in a tight contest.