Voting in the election for a new leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) concludes today. SNP is Scotland’s governing
Voting in the election for a new leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) concludes today.
SNP is Scotland’s governing pro-independence political party, holding 64 of 129 seats in the country’s 23-year-old parliament. The election comes following last month’s resignation of former party leader Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s longest serving first minister. Three candidates are competing for the votes of SNP’s roughly 72,000 members–Humza Yousaf, a Glaswegian progressive seeking to maintain SNP’s pivot toward social justice; Kate Forbes, a moderate calling for a party reset; and Ash Regan, a former government minister urging Scots to take a hawkish pro-independence stance.
Given the wide divergence of views among the candidates, the governing party’s election will have a momentous impact on Scotland’s political, economic, environmental, and social future. Should frontrunner Yousaf win, Scotland is likely to continue following the direction forged by Sturgeon which emphasized the expression of Scottish nationalism through social reforms, including those relating to gender-identification and environmental justice. In the event Forbes emerges victorious, the country is expected to distance itself from Sturgeon-progressivism and focus on more immediate problems like long health care wait times and growing economic disillusionment. The candidates appear only to agree on a more gradualist tempo to pursuing independence, although they differ on methods.