Latest – Humza Yousaf ahead on MP and MSP endorsements in SNP leadership race

Nominations for the SNP management race closed final week with three candidates set to be put to the membership.

Scottish well being secretary Humza Yousaf, finance secretary Kate Forbes and former neighborhood security minister Ash Regan all secured locations on the poll paper to switch Nicola Sturgeon, having efficiently reached the minimal of 100 nominations from at the very least 20 native get together branches to advance.

After a interval of campaigning, the SNP get together membership will be requested to vote utilizing the only transferable vote (STV) system, with a winner introduced on March 27. The membership poll will run from March 13 to the shut date of the twenty seventh.

The race continues to be vast open with a latest ballot indicating that 49% of SNP members are but to determine on a most popular candidate. The Panelbase ballot for The Sunday Occasions put Forbes within the lead, however with solely 23%, forward of Yousaf on 15% and outsider Regan on 7%.


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There’ll now be a renewed push from each candidate to safe the backing of key SNP MSPs and MPs, as they appear to certain up their assist inside the get together forward of March 27. has damaged down the important thing backers of every candidate at this early stage within the race

Newest standing of MP and MSP endorsements as of 27 February 2023:

Humza Yousaf – 13 MPs & 19 MSPs

Kate Forbes – 2 MPs & 7 MSPs

Ash Regan – 1 MP & 0 MSPs

But to declare for any candidate – 28 MPs & 31 MSPs

Return to this web page for updates because the race performs out.

Humza Yousaf 

Scottish well being secretary Humza Yousaf has emerged because the SNP “continuity candidate” within the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon. 

Amongst his high-profile supporters are former SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford and present deputy chief Mhairi Black.

Asserting his assist over the weekend, Blackford tweeted: “As a nation, we require a primary minister who will be sure that we ship in authorities and lead us ahead to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard in an independence referendum. … Humza is that chief”.

Humza Yousaf has served as the cupboard secretary for well being and social care at Holyrood since Could 2021.  

Equally, deputy Westminster chief Black stated that Yousaf was the one candidate prepared “get up for our Scottish Parliament’s democratic proper to legislate free from Westminster interference”. 

Black was a referring to Yousaf’s dedication to problem the UK authorities over its veto of Holyrood’s controversial gender recognition reforms. Each Forbes and Regan have been crucial of the gender reform laws handed by Holyrood, with Regan quitting her put up within the Scottish authorities as a way to vote towards it.

Among the many different MPs backing Yousaf are the SNP’s Westminster residence affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss, justice spokesperson Anne McLaughlin and levelling up spokesperson Chris Stephens.

Yousaf additionally counts on the assist of MPs Chris Legislation, Amy Callaghan, Stewart Hosie, Stuart MacDonald, Anne McLaughlin, Anum Qaisar, Tommy Sheppard, Owen Thompson and Pete Wishart. 

Key MSP backers embrace atmosphere minister Màiri McAllan, who was contemplating a run for the highest job herself, in addition to Neil Grey, one other particular person touted by some as a possible management candidate. 

Different distinguished backers at Holyrood are Scottish social justice secretary Shona Robison, who navigated the controversial gender reform recognition invoice by parliament; schooling secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville; and Michael Matheson, who serves as secretary for internet zero, power and transport. 

Full listing of backers:

13 MPs

  • Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South 
  • Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber
  • Amy Callaghan, MP for East Dunbartonshire
  • Stewart Hosie, MP for Dundee East
  • Chris Legislation, MP for Dundee West
  • Stuart McDonald, MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
  • Anne McLaughlin, MP for Glasgow North East
  • Anum Qaisar, MP for Airdrie and Shotts
  • Tommy Sheppard, MP for Edinburgh East
  • Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West
  • Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central
  • Owen Thompson, MP for Midlothian
  • Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire

Nineteen MSPs

  • Karen Adam, MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast
  • Alasdair Allan, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar
  • Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South
  • James Dornan, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart
  • Joe FitzPatrick, MSP for Dundee Metropolis West
  • Jenny Gilruth, MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes
  • Neil Grey, MSP for Airdrie and Shotts
  • Emma Harper, MSP for South Scotland
  • Jamie Hepburn, MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth
  • Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee Metropolis East
  • Michael Matheson, MSP for Falkirk West
  • Màiri McAllan, MSP for Clydesdale
  • Paul McLennan, MSP for East Lothian
  • Marie McNair, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie
  • Jenni Minto, MSP for Argyll and Bute
  • Emma Roddick, MSP for Highlands and Islands
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP for Dunfermline
  • Kevin Stewart, MSP for Aberdeen Central
  • Maree Todd, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
  • Elena Whitham, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley
Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes has loved a troubled begin to her management bid, coming underneath for her feedback on abortion and same-sex marriage. The finance secretary is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, which follows a strict interpretation of the Bible.

Because of her place on such social points, the finance secretary misplaced numerous key backers. These embrace MSPs Gillian Martin, Richard Lochhead, Tom Arthur, Clare Haughey and MP Drew Hendry, 

Asserting that she was withdrawing her assist for Forbes, Gillian Martin tweeted: “We have to be full throated in our assist of equal marriage. No if or buts. I received’t be supporting Kate’s marketing campaign on that foundation. I want her properly – she’s extraordinarily gifted. However I’ve pink traces. And that is one”.

Serving as finance secretary at Holyrood since February 2020, Kate Forbes has come underneath hearth for her feedback on abortion and same-sex marriage. 

Nonetheless, Forbes has additionally retained the assist of key elected officers. Amongst these embrace: gender reform rebels Michelle Thomson, Ruth Maguire, Annabelle Ewing and Jim Fairlie, in addition to different MSPs David Torrance, Siobhan Brown and Ivan McKee, who works underneath Forbes at Holyrood as enterprise minister

UK parliamentarians Douglas Chapman and Angus MacNeil additionally proceed to assist Forbes. 

Alex Neil, a former SNP MSP who served as well being secretary for 2 years in Alex Salmond’s authorities, is one other backer of Forbes’ candidacy. Neil has been a distinguished critic of Nicola Sturgeon and has emerged as a thorn within the facet of Forbes’ chief rival Yousaf. The previous well being secretary stated he remembers Yousaf asking to be allowed to skip Holyrood’s vote on same-sex marriage in 2014 due to stress from non secular leaders opposed the reform.

Mr Neil, who led the equal marriage laws by Holyrood, advised The Herald: “The reality is he requested to be ‘skipped’ as a result of he was underneath stress and he then organized a ministerial assembly, and that was his cowl for not voting, and if he says something totally different it’s not true”.

Full listing of backers:

Two MPs

  • Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife
  • Angus MacNeil, MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Seven MSPs

  • Siobhian Brown, MSP for Ayr
  • Annabelle Ewing, MSP for Cowdenbeath
  • Jim Fairlie, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire
  • Ruth Maguire, MSP for Cunninghame South
  • Ivan McKee, MSP for Glasgow Provan
  • Michelle Thomson, MSP for Falkirk East
  • David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy
Ash Regan 

Ash Regan is an outsider candidate to switch Nicola Sturgeon, with the previous communities minister lagging behind within the polls and with comparatively few declared backers. 

Regan’s most distinguished backer is Joanna Cherry MP, the chair of the joint committee on human rights at Westminster. She was the SNP’s justice spokesperson earlier than being sacked from the entrance bench for her outspoken opposition to gender recognition reforms.

Asserting her assist, Cherry stated: “I’m proud to assist Ash given her strong left wing credentials … and the braveness and management she has proven in standing up for the rights of girls and ladies”.

Full listing of backers:

One MP

  • Joanna Cherry, MP for Edinburgh South West


But to declare their assist

Among the many distinguished SNP officers but to declare their assist are Keith Brown, depute chief of the SNP; Stephen Flynn, SNP chief at Westminster; Angus Robertson, secretary for the structure at Holyrood; and John Swinney, deputy first minister of Scotland and former chief of the SNP from 2000-2004 

Present first minister Nicola Sturgeon has additionally refused to declare her assist for any of the candidates vying to switch her. 

Full listing of these but to declare:


  • Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston
  • Kirsty Blackman, MP for Aberdeen North
  • Steven Bonnar, MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
  • Deidre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith
  • Alan Brown, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun
  • Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
  • Ronnie Cowan, MP for Inverclyde
  • Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East
  • Martyn Day, MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk
  • Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire
  • Dave Doogan, MP for Angus
  • Allan Dorans, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
  • Marion Fellows, MP for Dunfermline West
  • Stephen Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South
  • Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran
  • Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North
  • Peter Grant, MP for Glenrothes
  • Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – [WITHDREW SUPPORT FROM FORBES]
  • David Linden, MP for Glasgow East
  • Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South
  • John McNally, MP for Falkirk
  • Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West
  • Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North
  • John Nicolson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire
  • Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute
  • Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling
  • Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon
  • Dr Phillips Whitford, MP for Central Ayrshire


  • George Adam, MSP for Paisley
  • Tom Arthur, MSP for Renfrewshire South – [WITHDREW SUPPORT FROM FORBES]
  • Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh
  • Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane – (Declined to face himself)
  • Stephanie Callaghan, MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill
  • Willie Coffey, MSP for Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley
  • Angela Constance, MSP for Almond Valley
  • Natalie Don, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West – (Retweeted Mhairi Black’s thread on Forbes and LBTQ+ rights)
  • Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn
  • Jackie Dunbar, MSP for Aberdeen Donside
  • Kenneth Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North
  • Mairi Gougeon, MSP for Angus North and Mearns
  • Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale
  • Fiona Hyslop, MSP for Linlithgow
  • Invoice Kidd, Glasgow MSP for Anniesland
  • Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray – [WITHDREW SUPPORT FROM FORBES]
  • Gordon MacDonald, MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands
  • Fulton MacGregor, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston
  • Gillian Martin, MSP for Aberdeenshire East – [WITHDREW SUPPORT FROM FORBES]
  • Rona Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden – (Retweeted anti-Regan tweets)
  • Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith – (Declined to face himself)
  • John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston
  • Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse – (Retweeted Yousaf’s Sky Information interview discussing feedback by US Senator Bernie Sanders)
  • Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde
  • Audrey Nicoll, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
  • Angus Robertson, MSP for Edinburgh Central – (Declined to face himself)
  • Collette Stevenson, MSP for East Kilbride – (Retweeted Emma Harper’s endorsement of Yousaf)
  • Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin
  • Nicola Sturgeon, MSP for Glasgow Southside
  • John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North – (Declined to face himself)
  • Evelyn Tweed, MSP for Stirling – (Retweeted Yousaf’s Sky Information interview discussing feedback by US Senator Bernie Sanders)