SNP leadership contest: All three candidates make it onto ballot after securing 100 nominations
All three candidates for the SNP leadership election have secured enough nominations to move forward to the next stage of the contest, the party has confirmed.
Under party rules, candidates must receive 100 nominations from at least 20 SNP branches for their names to be put forward for members to vote on.
Nominations closed at noon on Friday.
An SNP spokesperson said: "We can confirm that all three declared candidates for the leadership of the SNP - Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf - have passed the threshold of nominations."
Voting will begin on Monday 13 March and will stay open for two weeks. The winner is expected to be announced shortly after midday on Monday 27 March.
Speaking to Channel 4 news after First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, former community safety minister Ash Regan said she had “just been advised” that she had secured the necessary nominations so “will be moving forward in the contest”.
A spokesperson for her rival Humza Yousaf said the health secretary had received enough nominations to proceed shortly after launching his campaign on Monday.
A source close to the third candidate, finance secretary Kate Forbes, said she had been informed yesterday that she has the requisite number of backers to proceed to the vote.
All three names will now go forward to be voted on by party members, who will be asked to rank the candidates in order of preference.
Once the winner is decided MSPs will vote on whether they want that person to become first minister. That vote is regarded as a formality, although other politicians from across the chamber can put their name forward to contest the appointment.