Kate Forbes fuels SNP leadership bid speculation by saying she has 'groundswell' of support

Kate Forbes has said she has a “groundswell” of support as she seriously considers a second bid to become SNP leader.

The former Cabinet Secretary for Finance told the Record today she was "weighing up" going for the vacancy after Humza Yousaf’s dramatic resignation on Monday.

If Forbes declares she will join a two-horse race to become the next First Minister with party veteran John Swinney.

Her allies say she is considering going for the job a second time and her comments today confirmed this position.

“I am obviously still weighing up all my options," she said. "I know there is a groundswell of support for me amongst the members. That was quite clear in the last contest, which I know you followed very closely.

“Clearly I’ll be taking that into account and also trying to evaluate what is best for the country, for the party and for my family.”

Asked when she would make a decision, she said it was “still early days”.

She continued: "We have obviously got a large party membership, several tens of thousands and we are democrats."

Forbes narrowly lost out to Yousaf in last year's SNP leadership contest but her allies believe she could go one better this time.

Speaking to Sky News, Forbes later added: "I am not ruling myself out. I am still considering all the options, but I also know that there is a lot of support for me across the country and across the party, and last year proved that.

"What's key now is to think about what the next few months hold, and to ensure that the party is able to move forward, to fight that election and to ensure we have the trust of the people."

Forbes is expected to make her final decision within the next 24 hours.

Nominations close at noon on Monday.

Prospective candidates will have to gain the support of 100 members from 20 different SNP branches to qualify for the contest.

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