THE winner of the SNP leadership contest will be announced on Monday afternoon.

The party last night released the arrangements for the results of the election to be revealed at Murrayfield Stadium with the event to start at 2pm.

Details released officially confirmed information provided earlier to The Herald by party sources.

"I am hearing it will be 2pm at Murrayfield, although that has not been officially confirmed," said one insider on Thursday.

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Finance secretary Kate Forbes, health secretary Humza Yousaf and former community safety minister Ash Regan are vying to succeed Nicola Sturgeon who announced her resignation last month after more than eight years as SNP leader and First Minister.

More than 72,000 SNP members are eligible to vote in the contest with the ballot opening on Monday last week and closing this Monday at noon.

Frontrunners Mr Yousaf, 37, and Ms Forbes, 32, have particularly clashed over their record in government and their social views.

Polls put the two candidates almost neck and neck, with Mr Yousaf favourite among SNP voters, according to an Ipsos Scotland survey of 1,023 Scots, with a net favourability of 11%, compared with 6% for his rival, Ms Forbes.

But the finance secretary is viewed more favourably by the general public, with a net popularity rating of minus 8%, compared with the Health Secretary's minus 20%.

Ms Regan - widely considered an outsider for the job - had a net favourability of minus 24% among the general public, and minus 7% with SNP voters.

The votes are being counted by by Mi Voice, a Southampton-based polling firm which the party has previously used.

Ms Sturgeon's successor as First Minister will be officially elected at Holyrood on Tuesday and sworn in at the Court of Session the following day.


At First Minister's Questions on Thursday, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar called for a Holyrood election to be called after Ms Sturgeon’s successor takes office.

All three candidates have previously said they do not favour an immediate election, despite their party calling for a general election during the Conservative leadership turmoil last year.

The contest has been bitter with the candidates fiercely criticised each other’s records.

Peter Murrell, Ms Sturgeon’s husband and the SNP’s long-serving chief executive, resigned on Saturday after the party was forced to admit it had 30,000 fewer members than claimed at the start of the race.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon makes final Holyrood speech

Asked by the BBC on Sunday if the pro-independence SNP was in turmoil following the resignation of Mr Murrell, party president and interim chief executive Michael Russell said: “It’s fair to say that there is a tremendous mess and we have to clean it up.”

During the race Ms Regan, the candidate regarded as the outsider in the race, claimed the SNP had “lost its way” and urged the party to let members change their vote - a request rejected by the party.

Ms Forbes criticised the record of Ms Sturgeon’s government, saying “more of the same” would be “an acceptance of mediocrity”.

Mr Yousaf has cast himself as the continuity candidate but also said the SNP headquarters must be reformed to become more inclusive.

Some in the SNP have blamed Ms Sturgeon and Mr Murrell for what they consider a top-down approach to party management involving a lack of transparency and accountability.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf launches 'Women's manifesto' in dig at Kate Forbes

After all three candidates joined calls for the SNP to reverse its refusal to release details of the current size of its membership, the party revealed that 72,186 people were eligible to take part in the leadership vote.

The SNP claimed at the start of the contest it still had close to the 104,000 members it had reported at the end of 2021.

The party also initially denied a report last month in the Sunday Mail that it had lost 30,000 members.