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Humza Yousaf, pictured above at Western Isles Hospital in August last year, when he personally thanked people involved in the Covid vaccination programme, has been chosen as the new leader of the Scottish National Party, succeeding Nicola Sturgeon. 

The election for Scotland's First Minister takes place in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow. 

The three-way contest saw Ash Regan eliminated in the first round, and then Humza Yousaf beat Kate Forbes by 52.1% to 47.9%.

Humza Yiusaf, who is health secretary, was endorsed by far more MSPs and MPs than his two rivals, with retiring Deputy First Minister John Swinney predicting that he would "complete our journey to independence".  He was undoubtedly the most experienced of the three leadership contenders, having served in government since 2012 in roles including justice secretary and transport minister.

After the announcement of the result, Yousaf thanked everyone from his wife through to his daughters and campaign staff, calling them all "very special people".

"I wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for the support, encouragement and hard work of a number of people," he tells them.

He thanked his "amazing wife" Nadia, who he says is not just his rock but his "compass who helps guide me through the most difficult of times".

Yousaf also told his daughters that there's no job more important to him than being their father, before acknowledging his new role as party leader and Scotland's FM will be "all-consuming".

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan commented: “I am delighted to welcome Humza as the new leader of the SNP and next First Minister of Scotland. His election is a momentous occasion for our party and for Scotland as a whole.

“Humza is an exceptional politician with a proven track record of service to the people of Scotland. His passion, intelligence and dedication will be invaluable as we work to build a brighter future for our nation.

“As a leader, he will bring a fresh perspective to the SNP, and I am confident that he will work tirelessly to strengthen our party and deliver positive change for Scotland. His vision for an independent Scotland is one that resonates with people across the country, and I am excited to see what he will achieve in the years ahead.”

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “We congratulate Humza and look forward to working with him to promote the global success story of Scottish salmon and deliver further sustainable growth.

“The Scottish Government has long been supportive of our sector, which supports 12,500 jobs and is the UK’s biggest food export market, and we want to continue that positive relationship.

“Our members want to see a more streamlined licensing system for aquaculture, action to tackle the rural housing crisis, and a commitment that proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas are based on evidence, not ideology, with a thorough understanding of the impact on business, livelihoods and communities.

“Humza pledged to boost the availability of affordable housing in rural areas during his leadership campaign, and we look forward to seeing that promise being delivered.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “I extend my sincere congratulations to Humza Yousaf on his election.

“While I question his mandate and the SNP’s record, it is important to reflect on the election of what will be the first First Minister from an ethnic minority background. Regardless of your politics, this is a significant moment for Scotland.

“But while Scotland faces the twin crises of the cost of living and the NHS emergency, it is clear that the SNP does not have the answers that Scotland needs.

“This chaotic and divided party is out of touch and out of ideas.

“Humza Yousaf has inherited the SNP’s woeful record, but he has not inherited Nicola Sturgeon’s mandate.

“We need an election now, and Scottish Labour is the change that Scotland needs.”

Writing in the 'I', pollster John Curtice, who is Professor of Politics, University of Strathclyde, and Senior Research Fellow, NatCen Social Research and ‘UK in a Changing Europe', said there are questions to be asked of the arguments for independence that Mr Yousaf is inclined to emphasise. He made much in his campaign of the need to uphold and promote “progressive values”. Of course, in part this was a coded attack on Ms Forbes’ socially conservative views on such issues as gay marriage.

But it also suggested that Mr Yousaf regards independence not as a goal in itself but as a route towards a more socially equal society.  This approach runs the risk of narrowing the potential support base for independence to those that share Mr Yousaf’s vision of what it might achieve. In contrast, an emphasis on the argument that independence would enhance the country’s ability to make whatever policy choices it might make – and perhaps offer improved economic prospects too – might be thought more likely to appeal to a broader coalition of potential supporters.