2016 Scottish National Party depute leadership election
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Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Angus Robertson.jpg
Official portrait of Tommy Sheppard MP crop 2.jpg
Candidate Angus Robertson Tommy Sheppard
Popular vote 18,736 8,936
Percentage 52.5% 25.5%

Official portrait of Alyn Smith MP crop 2.jpg
Candidate Alyn Smith Chris McEleny
Popular vote 6,510 1,182
Percentage 18.6% 3.4%

Depute Leader before election

Stewart Hosie

Elected Depute Leader

Angus Robertson

There was a Scottish National Party leadership election to choose the new Depute leader of the Scottish National Party at the SNP's conference on 14–15 October 2016. The SNP's Westminster Group Leader Angus Robertson MP won the election.

The election followed the resignation of the incumbent Depute Leader Stewart Hosie. Hosie, the partner of Scottish Government cabinet member Shona Robison, announced his intention to step down at the party conference in May 2016 after it emerged he was engaged in an affair with a freelance journalist, who had previously been involved in an affair with the SNP MP Angus MacNeil.[1] 9568178404


Four candidates took part in the election:

Alyn Smith's campaign focused on the dual issues of strengthening Scotland's relationship with the European Union following the Brexit vote, and the need for a new Yes movement centred around the SNP.[1]

Angus Robertson's campaign also focused on the issues of Brexit and the European Union, and particularly on preserving Scotland's place in Europe.[1][2]

Chris McEleny's campaign focused on the importance of local government in light of the upcoming 2017 Scottish local elections.[1]

Tommy Sheppard focused his campaign on revamping internal SNP policy making, with the intention of making policy decision making more open to the SNP party membership. Existing policy decisions are largely taken by the leadership, with minimal input from the SNP grassroots membership.[3] He has been described as Robertson's "left-wing challenger".[4]

Both McEleny and Sheppard are members of the SNP Socialists group,[5] which said it was "challenging for leadership" of the SNP.

Other individuals suggested as potential candidates included Mhairi Black, Humza Yousaf, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.[3][6] Humza Yousaf later ruled out running for the position, instead stating his support for Robertson.[7]


The election used the single transferable vote (STV) system.[8]

Candidate Votes
Votes[9] %
Angus Robertson Green tickY 18,736
Tommy Sheppard 8,936
Alyn Smith 6,510
Chris McEleny 1,182


Angus Robertson

Chris McEleny


  1. ^ a b c d e Tom Gordon (17 July 2016). "More hopefuls enter race to be SNP deputy". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  2. ^ Severin Carrell, Scotland editor (3 July 2016). "Angus Robertson early favourite to become SNP deputy leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2016. ((cite web)): |author= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ a b Andrew Learmonth (15 July 2016). "Tommy Sheppard announces bid to be next deputy leader of the SNP". The National. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Angus Robertson elected SNP deputy leader: "We are very close to independence"". 13 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  5. ^ "SNP socialists say left is already "challenging for leadership" of the party". 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  6. ^ Kathleen Nutt (24 May 2016). "Who could be in the running to succeed Stewart Hosie as deputy leader of the SNP?". The National. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b Daniel Sanderson (19 July 2016). "Yousaf rules out deputy leader bid and backs 'experience' ahead of new referendum". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  8. ^ "SNP deputy leadership candidates revealed". BBC News. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  9. ^ Patrick Grady (13 October 2016). "Depute Leadership contest result". Scottish National Party. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Angus Robertson [@AngusRobertson] (11 September 2016). "Thanks for the strong support to become Depute Leader of @theSNP from across the West of Scotland region #voteAngus" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Angus Robertson [@AngusRobertson] (12 September 2016). "Thanks for support of members of @theSNP, cllrs and parliamentarians from across the Highlands & Islands #VoteAngus" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Angus Robertson [@AngusRobertson] (15 September 2016). "Thanks for the support from across Edinburgh and Lothian to become Depute Leader of @theSNP #VoteAngus" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Angus Robertson [@AngusRobertson] (13 September 2016). "North East of Scotland: Thanks for the support of so many members of @theSNP, councillors, MSPs and MPs #VoteAngus" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Thomson, David (23 July 2016). "Jim Sillars backs Inverclyde councillor for SNP Deputy Leader role". Common Space. Retrieved 16 September 2016.