Humza Yousaf elected leader of Scottish National party

Humza Yousaf was elected as the first leader of the Scottish National minority ethnic party. This narrow win will make him confront deep divisions within his party.

After the Scottish Greens announced their support on Tuesday for his nomination, he is almost certain to be confirmed. However, he faces an internal challenge in bringing together the warring SNP wings.

Yousaf is widely considered to be Nicola Sturgeon’s preferred successor. He defeated Kate Forbes by a narrow margin of 52% to 48%, after second preference votes were cast by supporters Ash Regan. The turnout was 70%.

Forbes won more second-preference votes from Regan than he did, but he received less. Forbes’s vote is a clear indication that Sturgeon’s platform for policy has less support than expected among ordinary members. Forbes received 40% of the votes while Forbes had 48%.


Forbes, a fiscal and social conservative, started her campaign with blunt and highly critical criticisms of Yousaf’s record as minister. She also denounced Sturgeon’s repeated support for centre-left policies, calling them “mediocre” as well as complacent.

The Scottish Greens announced that they would vote to confirm Yousaf’s appointment as first minister on Tuesday. They also said they would continue to support the Bute House power-sharing arrangement, which Sturgeon brokered in 2021.

This will ensure that Holyrood has a pro-independence majority and Thatsaf can pass future budgets without having to negotiate with Holyrood’s three pro-UK parties.

The Scottish Greens warned over the weekend that the SNP could become a minority government if Forbes wins, and they would leave the coalition.

Yousaf, in a signal to the SNP independence hardliners, said to ITV News that he would request from the Westminster government the power to hold a new independence referendum. This request was rejected by Downing Street.

Yousaf stated that he would meet Forbes and Regan immediately to discuss the possibility of keeping them in government. Regan quit as a junior minister to protest Sturgeon’s bill on gender recognition reform – legislation Yousaf promised to defend. Forbes was also critical of these reforms.

Yousaf, who had high-fived his supporters and smiled before the official announcement, took his place. He stated that he wanted to unify all the parties. Forbes’s support is so large that he might need to reconsider some of his most bold tax policies to keep her in the cabinet.

Yousaf stated that although elections for the presidency can be difficult by their very nature, they are not always easy to win. However, the SNP is a family. “Wherever there are divisions, we must heal them quickly. We have a job and we as a party are our strongest when we’re united.

Forbes, the finance secretary, said to reporters that she would talk to Yousaf about staying in his cabinet, but she refused to specify what she wanted in return.

She stated that she expects him to listen to members of the party and would not support Yousaf’s strategy to fight the UK government’s block on Holyrood’s gender recognition bill.

Forbes may consider running for the presidency again if she secures 48% of the vote. Although opinion polls indicated that she was preferred to Yousaf by Scottish voters, those polls also revealed that most voters weren’t sure who would be the best First Minister.

Forbes stated that she was a democrat and added: “I’m here for the support of the new leader SNP. I accept Humza Yousaf as the new leader. I will work with him to make sure we have a plan that has the trust of the SNP members.

She stated that she expected Yousaf would accept that the SNP’s policy and direction discussions had to continue after the leadership contest ended. This is a strong hint that she wants him to compromise his policies. She said, “We are absolutely united, but] we want to give the party the chance to continue discussing ideas. But we are united as one to serve the peoples of Scotland.”

After a bitter contest that saw deep policy divisions, unimaginable personal attacks, and the resignation of Peter Murrell, the chief executive of the party, and Sturgeon’s spouse, Sturgeon, the announcement was made at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh Monday afternoon. This followed damaging revelations about how the media were fed false information regarding membership figures.

After Yousaf and Forbes demanded transparency about how the vote was run, the party announced that its membership had dropped from 104,000 to 72,000 members since December 2021.

After the online vote of members had closed at noon, the result was announced. This was the first leadership contest since 2004. Alex Salmond was replaced by Sturgeon in 2014.

Yousaf, at the end of his victory speech, paid tribute to his Punjabi grandparents who arrived in Scotland in 1960s as immigrants speaking only rudimentary English. His grandfather Muhammad Yousaf worked at a sewing machine plant; his grandmother Rehmat A. Ali Bhutta stamps tickets on Glasgow buses.

He said, “They couldn’t have imagined that their grandson would oneday be on the cusp to being the next First Minister of Scotland.”