Voters in the two Monklands seats will each see five candidates listed on their constituency ballot papers at Thursday’s Holyrood election.

Airdrie will have a new MSP for the first time in a decade following the retirement of SNP representative Alex Neil, who had served at the Scottish Parliament since it was established 22 years ago.

Party colleague Neil Gray, who was the town’s MP for five years until standing down in March to contest this election, is bidding to retain the constituency; with his main challenger being former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.

He led the party for three years until standing down in January; he had also contested the Airdrie & Shotts constituency in 2016, finishing 6192 votes behind returning MSP Mr Neil.

Ross Lambie is the Conservative candidate, with the party having gained 15 per cent of the vote in coming third in 2016; while the other major party representative is John Cole of the Liberal Democrats.

The other name on the Airdrie ballot papers is Jimmy Dowson. The far-right independent is a founding member of Britain First and part of militant Christian group Knights Templar International.

In the Coatbridge & Chryston constituency, SNP candidate Fulton MacGregor is bidding to win a second term at Holyrood – and will be up against a former North Lanarkshire Council ward colleague.

Michael McPake is the Labour candidate for the area, aiming to win back the seat which changed hands at the 2016 election. Both politicians previously represented the town’s Coatbridge North & Glenboig ward on the local authority, with Mr McPake continuing in office for the revised Gartcosh, Glenboig & Moodiesburn area.

The other candidates appearing on the constituency ballot paper are local resident Leo Lanahan of the Scottish Family Party; Gordon Macdonald of the Conservatives; and Liberal Democrat candidate Mhairi Macdonald.

Voters in both the Airdrie and Coatbridge seats, along with seven others across Lanarkshire and Falkirk, will then use their second ballot paper to choose MSPs for the Central Scotland region under the parliament’s proportional representation top-up list vote system.

There will be 15 options on the second ballot paper, with many constituency candidates and familiar names appearing on their parties’ respective lists.

Among the parties seeking seats in Central Scotland are the Alba party recently set up by Alex Salmond, which is represented by former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and North Lanarkshire councillor Lynne Anderson; and the Scottish Greens, whose leading candidates are Gillian Mackay and Chapelhall resident Rosemary McGowan.

Coatbridge candidate Mr Lanahan is top of the Scottish Family Party’s regional list rankings; while Cumbernauld councillor Paddy Hogg is also standing for Holyrood election as an independent.

Familiar names on the party lists are Mr Leonard, who is Labour’s top candidate; Cumbernauld councillor Danish Ashraf, who is ranked first by the SNP; and Meghan Gallacher, leader of the Conservative group on North Lanarkshire Council, who is third on her party’s Central list.

The other parties on the regional list ballot are – Abolish the Scottish Parliament; All 4 Unity; Freedom Alliance; Independent Green Voice; Liberal Democrats; Reform UK; Scottish Libertarian Party; and UKIP.