Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation as Scotland’s chief minister has left a deep sense of emptiness and exposed deep internal divisions within the Scottish National Party (SNP). The old and new nationalist guards compete in the succession race without a clear favorite to keep the flame of “independence” alive.

John Swinney. The deputy prime minister and faithful squire of Sturgeon was already provisional leader of the SNP between 2000 and 2004, covering a “scare” by Alex Salmond, who returned to the position. He is considered the “continuation” candidate, very close to Sturgeon, with organizing skills but little charisma.

Angus Robertson. The former Westminster SNP spokesman and current Foreign Secretary is if anything the strongest candidate. More centrist in bent than Sturgeon, he sparked controversy in the 2014 referendum for defending Scotland’s NATO membership. He is the betting favourite.

Kate Forbes. At 32 years old, the current Finance Secretary emerges as the strongest representative of the new guard. On maternity leave for months, she has not yet given an indication of her intentions. She is fluent in Scottish Gaelic, but her religious fervor may be a handicap: she is a missionary child and a member of the Free Church of Scotland.

Mairi McAllan. At just 30 years old, she became a special adviser to Sturgeon and Secretary of the Environment. Considered one of the young nationalist promises, she is little known outside the spheres of the party.

Humza Yousaf. The “Muslim” alternative and the quintessential face of ethnic minorities in Scotland, the son of Pakistani immigrants. Seasoned as Secretary of Health, with a reputation for being “resilient” in the face of pressure from the opposition, he belongs to an “intermediate” generation and could be the compromise candidate among the various factions of the party.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project