Cllr Vincent Waters, who has been credited with helping Oswald pull off a stunning victory over former MP Jim Murphy, was hoping to replace Maxwell on the SNP list for Eastwood.

However, party members in the Eastwood branch chose to give their backing to Maxwell after an acrimonious contest that has resulted in an internal investigation. The SNP’s national secretary Patrick Grady has ordered the probe, which is being led by MEP Alyn Smith.

The News understands that a dossier of evidence has been handed to the SNP’s internal Disputes Committee. However, despite the unrest, Maxwell has spoken of his delight at securing the candidacy, saying: “It is an honour and a privilege to have been selected to stand as the SNP’s candidate for the Eastwood constituency at the 2016 Holyrood election.

“Now that the selection process is over, I look forward to the campaign ahead with a sense of optimism and determination. I am extremely grateful for the trust put in me by party members and I intend to repay that support by winning the Eastwood constituency for the SNP in 2016.

“The historic result in the General Election shows that there are no longer any ‘safe’ Labour seats in Scotland; we’ve worked hard to win the support of voters in Eastwood and across the West of Scotland but we must never take their votes for granted.

“I will continue to work tirelessly for my constituents in Eastwood and fight to ensure that our local communities have a strong voice in Scotland’s parliament.” The SNP is hoping to replicate its success in May’s General Election, when it swept all before it in a victory which almost wiped out Labour in Scotland. Oswald arguably claimed the biggest scalp of the campaign in her defeat of former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. And despite Vincent Waters serving as her campaign manager, she too welcomed the news of Maxwell’s success.

She said: “Stewart Maxwell will be an excellent candidate for the SNP. I look forward to working with him to ensure Eastwood contributes to the return of an SNP Government in 2016. SNP representatives are already working hard to represent the people of Eastwood.

“We will never take their votes for granted, and will continue to work tirelessly for local people.” A spokesman for the SNP said the investigation was an internal party matter.