The cost of living crisis, high energy and mortgage bills and the ongoing strain on public services amid the pandemic have dominated domestic politics.
Rishi Sunak, Britain’s third prime minister in a year, tried to portray himself as the new broom but found himself drawn back into Tory infighting and misdemeanor.
One of his predecessors, Boris Johnson, resigned as MP after seeing the damning findings of a Commons report about his repeated lies to Parliament about breaches of Covid rules.
There has also been plenty of drama in Scottish politics, starting with Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation as First Minister in February after more than eight years at Bute House.
Read more: Anas Sarwar has been named Scotland’s Politician of the Year 2022 by the Herald
She has become too divisive a figure to change voters’ minds about independence or sell it for the merits of SNP policies, she admitted in an emotional farewell.
But it was only the beginning of an extraordinary series of events for her party.
Her husband Peter Murrell resigned as chief executive during the leadership contest after the party misled the media by losing nearly a third of its membership.
Kate Forbes, Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan attacked each other in a fierce battle for the top spot.
Mr Yousaf had the shortest honeymoon in political history at the time, when problems emerged with the SNP’s finances and Mr Murrell, Ms Sturgeon and party treasurer Colin Beattie were arrested and released without charge by police investigating the party’s fundraising.
The word “mobile home” unexpectedly found its way into the political lexicon.
Read more: In pictures: The Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2022
Holyrood, expecting a relatively sleepy year without an election, was shaken as never before.
There have also been rising cross-border tensions between London and Edinburgh over Holyrood’s powers, with the closure of the DRS recycling scheme and a looming court battle over Westminster’s blocking of the Gender Recognition Act.
Through it all, the drumbeat of the general election grew louder as Labour, the SNP and the Tories contemplate a crucial encounter with the electorate.
At the international level, the war in Ukraine continues mercilessly.
Established in 1999, the awards are the highlight of Scotland’s political calendar. They are managed by ScottishPower and sponsored by Air Networks and Drax.
A jury chaired by Catherine Salmond will make a shortlist in October.
The winners of the 2023 Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards will be announced on Thursday 23 November 2023 at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. The Herald also welcomes nominations for Public Campaigner of the Year, which Back Off Scotland won in partnership with Green in 2022, by MSP Gillian Mackay, whose work on legislation to create protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics will affect thousands of women.
The nomination deadline is Thursday, August 10, 2023.
ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: “Working together towards net zero has never been more important for politicians and business leaders and we are delighted to be back as a sponsor of the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards.”
“Looking ahead, we hope we can continue this important work and get it done faster than we’ve done to ensure we meet our net zero goal by the end of the decade.”
Group Chief Executive Hamish Fraser added: “Last year, Aiir Networks welcomed the Herald’s Scottish Politician of the Year award back onto the Scottish political calendar.
“This event was a complete success, so of course we wanted to support the awards again in 2023.
“In fact, this is the fourth time that Aiir Networks has sponsored the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year award, such an important category in today’s political climate, and we again look forward to hearing and discussing the nominees, who should do this Be the winner of this very special award.
“As always, we wish The Herald every success for the 2023 event.”
Ian Kinnaird, Scottish Director of Plant and Generation Engineering at Drax, said: “Drax believes Scotland has the potential to be a world leader in tackling climate change and that our hydroelectric and pumped storage power plants will play a valuable role in that .”
“The Scottish Politician of the Year award is an important part of recognizing the work that politicians do to provide model energy to the people of Scotland and we are therefore delighted to support the awards.”
To make nominations for the Public Campaigner Award contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 302 6138.