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article imageNicola Sturgeon elected SNP leader unopposed

By Mathew Wace Peck     Oct 15, 2014 in Politics
Nicola Sturgeon is to replace Alex Salmond as leader of the Scottish National Party, it has been confirmed, paving the way for her to become Scotland's first female First Minister.
Sturgeon is currently Scotland's Deputy First Minister, having worked in that role alongside Alex Salmond since 2007.
The election of a new Scottish National Party (SNP) leader was triggered last month, following Salmond's resignation from the post; a decision he took after his government lost September's Scottish Independence Referendum vote.
He'd led the party for 20 years in total (first, from 1990 to 2000 and, then, from 2004 to the present), while Sturgeon has served as SNP deputy leader to him since 2004.
As reported by BBC News, Sturgeon was the only person to have put her name forward as a candidate to lead her party ahead of this morning's 9 a.m. deadline (Wednesday, October 15).
The 44-year-old politician will formally take up her new role as SNP leader in November, at which point she will become Scotland's first-ever female First Minister.
That appointment still has to be ratified by the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and approved by the Queen; both of which are likely to be formalities, though.
Next, the SNP will be seeking to choose a new deputy leader, now that Sturgeon's elevation to party leader has made that role vacant.
The Daily Telegraph reports that three main contenders have emerged: Keith Brown, MSP, Angela Constance, MSP, and Stewart Hosie, MP.
Brown is currently the Transport and Veterans Minister at Holyrood; Constance is the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women's Employment; while Hosie is the SNP's deputy leader of the party's group in the British Westminster Parliament and also its Treasury spokesperson in the House of Commons.
To decide, every member of the Scottish National Party has the right to vote under its one-member-one-vote system.
Meanwhile, as reported by the BBC, Sturgeon has already pledged "to lead a 'strong and competent government in a powerhouse parliament' and announced she would hold a series of rallies across Scotland."
A long-time supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Nicola Sturgeon joined the Scottish National Party in 1986, quickly becoming the SNP's Youth Affairs Vice Convener and Publicity Vice Convener.
She has made no secret of the fact that her politics were shaped by the wholesale industrial destruction and soaring unemployment brought about in the 1980s by the policies of the UK's then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Sturgeon first stood for election as a Member of parliament to the UK government in 1992 — the year John Major narrowly won the general election for the Conservatives, standing as the SNP's candidate for the Glasgow Shettleston constituency. At the time, she was the youngest parliamentary candidate in Scotland; but failed to win the seat.
Her next attempt was in the 1997, when she narrowly lost Glasgow Govan, despite it being a safe Labour seat, in that year's UK general election.
She became an MSP for Glasgow in 1999, as a result of coming first in the regional list, and was re-elected in 2003. Then, in 2007, she achieved what she'd narrowly missed at the UK general election a decade before, by taking the Glasgow Govan constituency from Labour.
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