“Even though you are in competition with each other, I think it's absolutely fantastic to see two young people taking these steps.”

Dionne Hossack is one of two SNP members who have put themselves forward to represent the party in the General Election fight for Central Scotland’s new seat, Hamilton and Clyde Valley.

The 21-year-old has faced hustings alongside 23-year-old Ross Clark - and depending on the outcome, either of them could become the youngest person running for the SNP in the next General Election.

“We have a lot of fantastic young people and I'm not talking about myself when I say that,” said Hossack.

“We've got some amazing talent from all different perspectives, different age groups, different ethnic groups and people who are disabled. We've got lots of great members and great activists and I think it's really nice to see that we've been able to get given the chance to take that up a notch”.

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Clark, already a councillor in South Lanarkshire, said the two of them are passionate about advocacy, and have known each other for several years through the party.

He said: “Dionne and I are good friends, so the campaign has certainly been good natured. We’re two people who are passionate about advocating for our local communities and the positive difference the powers of independence can make to the lives of the people of Scotland.”

Both mentioned the area's previous MP, Angela Crawley (below), who has represented Lanark and Hamilton East since 2015. She was 27 when first elected.

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Ross argues her continued election shows that “local people don’t see age but would rather see a committed local representative who is passionate about making a difference”. Meanwhile Hossack cited Crawley amongst women she looks up to as young female representatives, including SNP MPs Mhairi Black and Amy Callaghan.

She said: “I was actually asked for my nomination, ‘do you really know what to expect when you go down there?’ And I think the fact is, yes.

"Mhairi Black's been really open about her experience, as well as other people and not even just the women as well. Men have said it's quite hard and they've witnessed the behaviour that we talk about.

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“I think what's really frustrating is as a young woman and as a young person, as well as you're hearing about these behaviours, but nothing has changed in hundreds of years. For me, I'm going down there and, there will be challenges that I will need to face and to be honest, how will I deal with them? I won't really know.

“I'll deal with it how I deal with most things, which is just respect and honesty, but having boundaries and clear boundaries. If someone does something out of line, it's going to be called out because it's behavioural things that are causing problems.”

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When asked whether they were apprehensive about going to Westminster, Clark said: “I’m not apprehensive but I know Westminster won’t be easy - I know all too well the toxic nature of that place. However, I won’t be going there to settle down, but to settle up.

“Westminster doesn’t work for Hamilton and Clyde Valley and it doesn’t work for Scotland - it needs to change and it needs to change with independence.”

Both Hossack and Clark fill their personal time with activism, as well as working multiple jobs.

When asked whether a full-time job that encompassed activism would be a blessing, Clark disagreed, but Hossack agreed.

Clark said: “I don’t see being an MP as just a job, nor do I think it will be a blessing in terms of my day-to-day working life.

"The real blessing would be local people putting their trust in me to represent them as their MP and every day that will be my focus. I’m also not going to be an MP who forgets about activism. There’s so much work to be done and I’m ready to lead this campaign and win this seat for the SNP.”

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Hossack said the impact of the cost of living crisis meant a full-time job like being a member of parliament would in fact, relieve some struggles.

She said: “100%. I've been lucky and it's actually something I've been quizzed on quite a bit in regard to the volunteering I do, being in a band, working, how would I balance it all out?

“First of all, that’s a decision for me to make and I'll make it work, especially if I'm selected, but further obviously, I'll manage that as it comes. I've been really lucky that the things I've done have given me the knowledge and experience to take that for this sort of possible job and the campaign itself. I've learned so much in such a short space of time.

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“Myself being a working-class woman, something I've been really, really proud of for a long time - you've got that extra sort of challenge on top of the financial aspect of it. I work three jobs to try and just get by and I'm not going to lie, I’ve really struggled with the cost of living crisis and I’ve been lucky.

Hossack added: “That’s not to say I have experienced hardship compared to other people because my experience is very different, the thing about the cost of living crisis is it is completely individual how it's affecting people and it's affecting a lot of people, even those that aren't working class as well, as much as they are to an extent able to move forward with their life.

"It still affects them as well as people who live in deprivation, poverty and I think as a young person living in these times, it's tough but it makes you more determined to have a young person's voice be represented at that type of level.

“I feel that you need to be in the system to change the system and especially something as sort of traditional and down on the ground as Westminster.

“So I think, you know, change needs to happen and hopefully it will happen sooner than not.”

Hamilton and Clyde Valley is a proposed constituency of the House of Commons and will be first contested at the next General Election. The SNP members ballot to vote for who will contest the seat close on Thursday October 26.