Kezia Dugdale Wins Scottish Labour Leadership Race

15 August 2015, 12:07 | Updated: 15 August 2015, 12:09

Kezia Dugdale has said she can be a ''fresh start'' for Scottish Labour after the party was routed by the SNP in the general election.

Just over six months after she became deputy leader in Scotland, she put herself forward for the top job - beating rival Ken Macintosh to replace Jim Murphy.

It comes after her party suffered its worst election defeat at the hands of the SNP in May, with Nicola Sturgeon's party winning a historic 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons.

Labour has also lost the last two Holyrood elections to the SNP.

In 2007, the nationalists won just one more seat in the Scottish Parliament, which is elected using proportional representation, but in 2011 they secured an unprecedented overall majority - something Labour has never been able to achieve.

According to the polls, the SNP is now on course to increase that majority with Labour trailing on just 20% of support.

Ms Dugdale, 33, was elected as an MSP for the Lothian region in 2011, and rapidly marked herself out as one of the rising stars within her party.

In 2013, she won the ''one to watch'' category at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year awards, partly as a result of her work with the Debtbusters campaign to crack down on payday lending.

Ms Dugdale is the daughter of two teachers, although she has revealed her father Jeff is a paid-up member of the SNP.

She has said: ''I know my dad is very proud of what I do, even if he doesn't agree with it often.''

Ms Dugdale was born in Aberdeen in August 1981 and studied law at the city's university before going on to complete a masters in policy studies at Edinburgh University.

While studying in the Scottish capital, she worked as a welfare adviser for the university students' association and in the public affairs office at the National Union of Students in Scotland.

Before her election to Holyrood, she spent four years working at the Parliament, serving as office manager and political adviser to Lord Foulkes between 2007 and 2011 when he was an MSP for the Lothian region.

Outside of politics, her interests are theatre, reading Scottish crime novels and ''enjoying Edinburgh''.