What happens now

Nicola Sturgeon has resigned as leader of the Scottish National Party, and as First Minister of Scotland, there will be two elections in the wake of this announcement.

First Election – SNP Party Leader

The leader of the SNP does not need to be an MSP, it can be any card carrying member of the SNP.

The Party Leader will always be the Scottish Parliamentary group leader if they are an MSP. This differs to Westminster where the Parliamentary group leader is elected separately.

A challenger for leader must have 100 members support them, spread across a minimum of twenty branches.

If there is only one candidate, there will be no election or vote.

All SNP members will vote using the Single Transferable Vote system, this means it is a ranked voting system, you can vote for as many candidates, in order, as you like (you should not rank those you do not like).

The nomination close is 77 days from the opening of nominations, which if opened today, is 3rd May 2023.

The ballot will sent out 35 days after nomination close. Which would be 7th June.

Which leaves the close of ballot 21 days later on 28th June. Announcement of new Party Leader following this.

Anyone who was a member before nominations opened, can vote (ie, before today). The National Secretary can edit this timetable somewhat.

Second Election – First Minister of Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon will resign as First Minister on the day her Party Leader successor is chosen to succeed her.

A Scottish Parliament vote will be held, a simple majority of votes cast is required in theory, but in practice – half plus one, is required to secure the position.

The First Minister must be a member of the Scottish Parliament.

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