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by Louise Wilson
13 March 2023
SNP leadership: Who is backing who?

SNP leadership: Who is backing who?

Humza Yousaf is the runaway winner when it comes to endorsements from fellow MSPs and MPs, even bagging deputy first minister John Swinney and Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

Swinney – who earlier this month announced he will step down from government after a successor to Nicola Sturgeon is elected – said Yousaf was “best placed” to lead the party.

He said: “He will strengthen the SNP as a force for progressive change in Scottish politics.

“Humza will govern effectively by using the partnership that we enjoy with the Scottish Green Party - guaranteeing us a pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament.”

And Flynn said Yousaf’s leadership would offer “hope”. He said: “The next leader of the SNP must be in a position to unite our party and our movement, be focused on the immediate challenges facing the public, and be able to grow a sustained and undeniable majority in favour of independence… I’ll be voting for Humza.”

But Kate Forbes isn’t doing too shabbily either. Despite a few people endorsing then un-endorsing her at the start of the campaign, 14 people have publicly backed her.

Michelle Thomson said Forbes was the “best candidate” to reach out to the wider electorate to push forward independence plans. She added: “We need someone trusted who can help move Scotland forwards, we need someone who is a winner, and that leader is Kate.”

And Douglas Chapman said: “She ticks the boxes on creating a successful, vibrant Scottish economy while delivering a fair and just society. Above all she has the vision and determination to lead up to independence.”

Ash Regan trails with just one MP – Joanna Cherry – backing her.

Cherry, who has previously said the “party machine” is getting behind Yousaf, said her first preference would go to Regan, while she would rank Forbes second in the STV system used by the party.

She said: “The SNP needs a reset. Time to move our focus from identity politics to the big issues people across Scotland are struggling with and our party’s ultimate goal of independence.”

Voting on the SNP leadership contest opened at midday on Monday and members have until Monday 27 March to submit their ballot.

So, who is backing who?

Humza Yousaf

John Swinney MSP

Shona Robison MSP

Angus Robertson MSP

Shirley-Anne Sommerville MSP

Michael Matheson MSP

Elena Whitham MSP

Kevin Stewart MSP

Màiri McAllan MSP

Ben Macpherson MSP

Christina McKelvie MSP

Neil Gray MSP

Jenny Gilruth MSP

Jamie Hepburn MSP

Mairi Gougeon MSP

Maree Todd MSP

Tom Arthur MSP

Alasdair Allan MSP

Karen Adam MSP

Graeme Dey MSP

Clare Adamson MSP

Bob Doris MSP

Natalie Don MSP

James Dornan MSP

Jackie Dunbar MSP

Joe FitzPatrick MSP

Emma Harper MSP

Paul McLennan MSP

Marie McNair MSP

Jenni Minto MSP

Audrey Nicoll MSP

Emma Roddick MSP

Collette Stevenson MSP

Kaukab Stewar MSP

Evelyn Tweed MSP

Stephen Flynn MP

Mhairi Black MP

Ian Blackford MP

Hannah Bardell MP

Kirsty Blackman MP

Deidre Brock MP

Amy Callaghan MP

Angela Crawley MP

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Stewart Hosie MP

Chris Law MP

Stuart McDonald MP

Anne McLaughlin MP

Anum Qaisar MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Chris Stephens MP

Alison Thewliss MP

Owen Thompson MP

Richard Thomson MP

Pete Wishart MP

Kate Forbes

Ivan McKee MSP

Siobhian Brown MSP

Colin Beattie MSP

Annabelle Ewing MSP

Fergus Ewing MSP

Christine Grahame MSP

Jim Fairlie MSP

Ruth Maguire MSP

Fulton MacGregor MSP

Michelle Thomson MSP

David Torrance MSP

Carol Monaghan MP

Douglas Chapman MP

Angus MacNeil MP

Ash Regan

Joanna Cherry MP

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