2014 Scottish National Party leadership election
← 2004 14–15 November 2014 (2014-11-14 – 2014-11-15)
Nicola Sturgeon.jpg
Candidate Nicola Sturgeon
Popular vote Unopposed

Leader before election

Alex Salmond

Elected Leader

Nicola Sturgeon

There was a Scottish National Party leadership election to choose the new leader of the Scottish National Party at the SNP's conference on 14–15 November 2014. The election followed the announcement by SNP Leader and First Minister Alex Salmond, in the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum, that he would not seek re-nomination as party leader and would resign as First Minister soon after the SNP elected a new leader. Given the SNP's absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament, the new leader was all but assured of becoming the next First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP's deputy leader and the Deputy First Minister, was elected unopposed as his successor.

Leadership election

SNP depute leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was widely tipped as the favourite to succeed Salmond after the election.[1] She was backed by a number of Scottish government ministers, including Alex Neil and Humza Yousaf,[2] and former SNP leader Gordon Wilson.[3]

Sturgeon officially launched her campaign bid to succeed Salmond on 24 September 2014.[4][5] On 15 October 2014, the SNP confirmed that Sturgeon was the only candidate for the leadership, and therefore de facto leader-in-waiting. It had been obvious even before then that no one else would garner enough nominations to make a viable bid for the post.

She was formally acclaimed as the party's first female leader at the SNP Autumn Conference on 14 November 2014.[6] This all but assured her formal election as First Minister on 19 November 2014.

Depute Leadership

Three people, Angela Constance,[7] Keith Brown[8] and Stewart Hosie launched bids to succeed Sturgeon as SNP Depute Leader.[8] Constance said that she would not seek to become Deputy First Minister to Sturgeon, even if she was elected Depute Leader.[9] The results were announced at the conference, with Hosie polling 42.2%, Brown on 34.2% and Constance on 23.5% in the first round of the single transferable vote election. In the second round, Hosie was elected after getting 55.5% of votes following the elimination of Constance. The Depute Leadership election had a turnout of 55.7%.[10] With Hosie serving in Westminster, John Swinney was tapped as Deputy First Minister when Sturgeon took office on 19 November.

First round
Candidate Votes[10]
Votes %
Stewart Hosie N/A
Keith Brown N/A
Angela Constance Red XN N/A
Second round
Candidate Votes[10]
Votes %
Stewart Hosie Green tickY 18,915
Keith Brown 15,150


  1. ^ Dickie, Muir (21 September 2014). "Nicola Sturgeon looks set to become first female Scottish leader". Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Poll tips SNP as winners in next Scottish election". 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  3. ^ Cusick, James (21 September 2014). "Scottish referendum: Nicola Sturgeon edges closer to SNP leadership following Alex Salmond's resignation". Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ Carrell, Severin. "Nicola Sturgeon launches campaign to succeed Alex Salmond | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  5. ^ Cramb, Auslan (24 September 2014). "Nicola Sturgeon predicts independence 'one day' as she launches bid to replace Alex Salmond". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ "SNP conference: Nicola Sturgeon appointed party leader - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  7. ^ "MSP Angela Constance enters race to become next SNP deputy leader". Daily Record. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Keith Brown and Stewart Hosie stand for SNP deputy leadership". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  9. ^ Macnab, Scott (1 October 2014). "Angela Constance: 'I know why Yes campaign failed'". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "SNP conference: Hosie elected SNP deputy leader - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.