Powered By Pixels
27 March 2023

Humza Yousaf is elected new SNP leader and prospective First Minister

27 March 2023

Humza Yousaf is set to become Scotland’s youngest first minister and the first person from a minority ethnic background to hold the post after he was elected SNP leader.

After a sometimes fiery and divisive leadership contest, SNP members chose Mr Yousaf, 37, as their party’s new leader, succeeding Nicola Sturgeon.

The current Scottish Health Secretary is expected to be declared Scotland’s sixth first minister after a vote in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon, who was Scotland’s longest-serving first minister, announced last month she was stepping down after more than eight years in the job.

Mr Yousaf succeeds her after defeating the current Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan in what was the SNP’s first leadership contest for almost 20 years.

The result was announced at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh after the ballot of SNP members closed at noon, with a turnout of 70%.

For first preferences in the single transferrable vote system, Mr Yousaf took 24,336 (48%),  Ms Forbes took 20,559 (40%) and Ms Regan took 5,599 (11%) of the vote.

When second preferences were distributed in the second stage, Mr Yousaf took 26,032 (52%) and Ms Forbes took 23,890 (48%).

Viewed as the continuity candidate, Mr Yousaf had greater levels of public support from SNP parliamentarians at both Holyrood and Westminster than the other candidates, with high-profile backers including outgoing Deputy First Minister John Swinney, and new SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

Mr Yousaf was first elected in 2011 as a regional MSP for Glasgow and was appointed a junior minister the following year, becoming Justice Secretary in 2018.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox