Five SNP MSPs who could replace Humza Yousaf as leader when First Minister resigns

Humza Yousaf is set to resign ahead of a vote of no confidence next week.

After being dumped from the Scottish Government, the Greens said they would back the Tory motion.

Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems also back the motion. This means there are 64 MSPs against Yousaf, while the SNP has 63.

It would have left Alba MSP and former SNP leadership contender Ash Regan with the casting vote.

The Tory motion would not be binding, but Labour has launched a motion of no confidence in the Scottish Government which would have forced Yousaf out if it passed.

Here are the five possible people who could take over as First Minister.

Kate Forbes

The former finance secretary narrowly lost the SNP leadership contest to Yousaf last year.

Her campaign got off to a dreadful start after she said she would have voted against gay marriage reforms if she had been an MSP at the time - and later suggested she shouldn't have children outside of wedlock.

But Forbes remains a respected former minister and is seen by many as a potential successor to Yousaf.

The 33-year-old from Dingwall came to prominence four years ago when she became finance secretary in dramatic circumstances and delivered the Scottish budget on the day her predecessor Derek Mackay quit.

Neil Gray

The recently appointed Health Secretary will be a frontrunner if Yousaf resigns.

Gray has only been an MSP since 2021, but served as MP for Airdrie and Shotts for six years before that.

The 38-year-old was made a minister after less than a year in Holyrood.

Having helped run Yousaf's campaign in the leadership contest, he was made wellbeing economy secretary last year.

Gray replaced Michael Matheson as Health Secretary in February after the iPad data roaming scandal.

He is seen as a safe pair of hands and has support in the SNP group.

Mairi McAllan

Alongside Gray, McAllan is seen as one of the strongest of the next generation of SNP politicians.

The MSP for Clydesdale and only turned 31 in February but has impressed since being elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2021.

McAllan became Environment Minister only two weeks after becoming an MSP.

Like Gray, she backed Yousaf in last year's leadership election and was rewarded with the Net Zero Secretary job when Yousaf became First Minister.

She took over as Wellbeing Economy Secretary in February.

Jenny Gilruth

The Education Secretary also backed Yousaf to become leader and was given a place in cabinet afterwards.

The MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes was first elected in 2016 and became culture minister in 2016.

She was transport minister between 2022 and 2023, where she oversaw the nationalisation of ScotRail but also train driver strikes.

Gilruth is also married to former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

John Swinney

John Swinney could be an option as a temporary first minister until the SNP carries out a leadership contest.

One of the the most high-profile SNP MSPs, he served as deputy first minister for more than eight years under Nicola Sturgeon and stepped down from the Scottish Government last year.

He was SNP leader from 2000 until 2004, leading the party in the 2001 UK election and 2003 Scottish election. The SNP lost one seat in 2001 and eight seats in 2003.

Swinney was also Finance Minister between 2007 and 2016 and was education minister between 2016 and 2021. He was latterly the cabinet secretary for covid recovery.

To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here