Prime Minister David Cameron has called Alex Salmond "a politician of huge talent and passion" after the First Minister announced he was stepping down.
He has been an effective First Minister and always fights his corner.
While we disagree profoundly about his goal of a separated Scotland, and many other things, I respect and admire his huge contribution to politics and public life.
Alex Salmond was right to resign from his post, and his resignation will allow the "country to come back together", according to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
Ruth Davidson released a statement this afternoon acknowledging the politician's efforts in the independence referendum, and expressing hope for the future of the country.
“Alex Salmond has been the dominant figure in Scottish politics for the last seven years. “No-one can dispute his political achievements, nor fail to acknowledge his political gifts. “He has done the right thing in resigning. “While the referendum campaign has been hugely invigorating, by its very nature it has divided too. “His decision to step down will help our country come back together again. “I am pleased that the First Minister says he will continue to serve in Scottish politics. “Scotland will benefit from his experience and service as we move forward."
Nicola Sturgeon has said that in the aftermath of Alex Salmond's resignation as First Minister, it would be a "privilege..to seek to lead the Party."
"Alex's announcement today inevitably raises the question of whether I will be a candidate to succeed him as SNP leader.
"I can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the Party I joined when I was just 16. However, that decision is not for today.
"My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family.
"I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest First Minister Scotland has had.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to Alex Salmond, after he announced he would be leaving his post in the wake of the independence referendum rejection.
In a full statement on her website, she praised Salmond's achievements whilst in office as "second to none."
Nicola Sturgeon also said that the personal debt she owed him was "immeasurable."
"Alex Salmond's achievements as SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister are second to none.
"He led the SNP into government and has given our country a renewed self confidence.
"Through policies such as the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and the scrapping of tuition fees, he has made a real difference for hundreds of thousands of Scots.
"And yesterday he inspired 1.6 million of our fellow citizens to vote Yes to independence.
"The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years."
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has tweeted that she wishes Alex Salmond well, after he announced he would be stepping down as First Minister in November.
She did, however, also use the opportunity to raise questions about the problems he voiced with the outlined plan for Scotland's future.
The FM has served Scotland & I wish him well, but he seems confused by the timetable promised. Here it is. http://t.co/egI8mSMrxq"
Television presenter Lorraine Kelly has speculated that she thinks Nicola Sturgeon will be Salmond's successor to take on the First Minister job.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is the bookies' overwhelming favourite to replace Alex Salmond as the leader of the Scottish National Party.
- Nicola Sturgeon 1/4
- Humza Yousaf 8/1
- Alex Neil 10/1
- Derek Mackay 10/1
- Mike Russell 10/1
Odds from Ladbrokes.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond announced the following timetable for his resignation:
- He will not accept nomination to be a candidate for leader at the SNP's Annual Conference in Perth on 13 to 15 November
- After the membership ballot he will stand down as First Minister, allowing the new leader to be elected
- He will continue to serve as Scotland's First Minister until that time
- After that he will continue to "offer to serve" as an MSP for Aberdeenshire East
Alex Salmond said he will not be "withdrawing entirely from political life" and that he will be a local candidate in the next election.
He added that he "loves the fact that I've been the longest serving First Minister of Scotland" and that his proudest moment was the "restoration of free education."
"It has been the privilege of my life to serve as First Minister," Alex Salmond said as he announced he would be stepping down following the referendum defeat.
"But as I said often enough during this referendum campaign, this is a process which is not about me or the SNP or any political party, it's much, much more important than that," the First Minister added.