There’s more than one set of candidates battling it out for victory in the Scottish polls in the coming weeks – Robert Burns is in the running for the title ‘Great Scot’ in a National Trust for Scotland survey.

The  bard who spent the last years of his life in Dumfries and Galloway  has already racked up hundreds of votes, but he’s up against some tough competition in the form of four other historical heroes – Flora MacDonald, Jacobite heroine, Sir Hugh Munro, pioneering mountaineer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, globally-renowned architect and Mary, Queen of Scots, Scotland’s would-be monarch.

The campaign for Burns is being championed by David Hopes, Director of the Trust’s award-winning Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.

David said:  “Robert Burns’s words continue to electrify the nation. He is Scotland’s soul.”

The Trust picked five top Scots from history, all with a connection to Trust places, whose fascinating stories and incredible achievements have had a profound impact on Scotland’s history, architecture and landscape, and asked the public to select their ‘Great Scot’.

Votes can be cast online at www.nts.org.uk/greatscots until 29 April .