Who will be the next First Minister after Nicola Sturgeon? Latest odds | The Sun

NICOLA Sturgeon's dramatic resignation has sparked a leadership race in the Scottish National Party.

The SNP boss formally quit this morning – but there is no clear successor ready and waiting in the wings, as it stands.

She will quit formally in the coming weeks, but will stay in place as the Scottish First Minister and SNP leader until a successor is found.

She said today she won't be leaving politics completely, in a hint that she will remain a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

Her resignation is a dramatic blow to Scottish independence, and likely to spark a furious debate about the party's future.

And it comes after furious criticism of her over her move to make it easier for people to legally change their gender without the green light from doctors.

In an emotional speech this morning, she said she no longer had the energy to carry on, and was keen to return to a life outside the limelight with more privacy.

So, who is in the running to replace her?

Angus Robertson – Evens

The Edinburgh MP and MSP has bags of experience in both local and national politics, and is currently the bookies' favourite at both Betfair and Coral.

He's played a big role in pushing to get a second referendum on independence, and has the role of Scotland's constitution secretary.

He was the SNP chief at Westminster, arguing with Labour and Tory politicians at the despatch box in the Commons, but recently stood down from this role.

He's still an MP, and a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central.

Kate Forbes – 5/1

The rising star of the party is hot on his heels and second favourite, according to the bookies.

The 32-year-old stepped up to the plate to deliver the Scottish Government's finance statement just hours after Derek Mackay was forced to quit after The Sun revealed he'd been sending messages to a teenage boy.

She is currently on maternity leave after having her first child in August.

Humza Yousaf – 8-1

The 37-year-old Health Secretary north of the border is also another firm favourite to take the top job.

One of Scotland's most senior Muslim and BAME politicians, he could use the NHS crisis to try and win his top job.

But opponents have hit out over developed health in Scotland – and the ongoing strikes will prove a huge headache.

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Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Following the announcement Nicola Sturgeon will resign as first minister after more than eight years in office, Angus Robertson is the early Evens favourite to replace her.

"Kate Forbes follows behind at 5/1, while Humza Yousaf is 8/1, with John Swinney 9/1 and Keith Brown 10/1.”

Coral’s John Hill said: “Angus Robertson is a senior figure in the SNP and he is the early favourite to replace Nicola Sturgeon following her resignation.

“We have also seen some early support in our betting for Kate Forbes and Hamza Yousaf."

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Next Scottish first minister, according to Betfair:

Angus Robertson: Evens
Kate Forbes: 5/1
Humza Yousaf: 8/1
John Swinney: 9/1
Keith Brown: 10/1
Joanne Cherry: 12/1
Mhairi Black: 20/1

What happens next now Nicola Sturgeon has quit?

Now Nicola Sturgeon has quit as First Minister and SNP leader, it will kick off the leadership race for her successor.

She will remain in office until a new person is ready and in place.

The SNP will have their own leadership race like the Tories did to replace Boris Johnson and Liz Truss last year – where members will have their say.

It's likely that the next few weeks will see runners and riders launch their campaigns and get out and about across Scotland in a bid to woo party members.

Any campaign will probably last for a month or two.

In the last 2014 leadership race, which took place after Alex Salmond lost the independence referendum, Ms Sturgeon was the only one to announce she would run, and was effectively elected unopposed.

In 2004's leadership race, Mr Salmond was elected on a joint ticket with Ms Sturgeon to succeed John Swinney after he quit following poor SNP electoral prospects.

A number of people ran for the top job, but ultimately Mr Salmond won a final vote with a staggering 75 per cent of the votes, defeating two other candidates.

Whoever wins the SNP leadership will go on to be the First Minister of Scotland.

The next Scottish elections won't take place until 2026

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