The process Humza Yousaf must follow to become Scotland's First Minister

Humza Yousaf defeated Kate Forbes and Ash Regan to become the new leader of the SNP. Credit: PA Images

Humza Yousaf has been elected as the new leader of the Scottish National Party.

After all three candidates failed to gain more than 50% of the votes, third-place Ash Regan's second-preference votes were transferred to the other candidates and Mr Yousaf was elected with 52.1% of the final vote.

But what is the process Humza Yousaf must now take before becoming Scotland's sixth First Minister?

Clearing of the post

Nicola Sturgeon submitted her resignation to the King earlier today. This follows the practise used to elect a Prime Minister at Westminster which ensures that a post-holder is always in place.

Parliamentary nomination

Unlike at Westminster, where a Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch, the First Minister of Scotland is nominated by Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). Following the resignation of a First Minister, they have a period of 28 days in which to nominate a successor.

Any MSP can theoretically be chosen as First Minister. The Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone will invite each nominee to speak in support of their candidacy later today.

As the leader of the party with the most MSPs, Humza is almost certain to become the First Minister through this nomination. Douglas Ross, the current leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has said that he will also be a candidate.

One candidates have spoken, MSPs will cast their vote for their preferred nominee. The winner is decided by a simple majority.

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament will then recommend to the King that he appoint the winning candidate as First Minister of Scotland.

The new First Minister must then appoint ministers from among other MSPs. This is expected to take place later this week.

Swearing in

A swearing in ceremony will be held on Wednesday 29 March at the Court of Session, Scotland's senior civil court. Here, the new First Minister must assent to an oath of office, an oath of allegiance to the King and a declaration to become Keeper of the Scottish Seal.

It is likely that Humza Yousaf will soon be invited to a private audience with the King.

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