Yousaf emerged victorious with 52 % of Scottish Nationwide Social gathering (SNP) members’ preferentially ranked votes, following a divisive management battle triggered by Sturgeon’s shock resignation announcement final month.
He’s set to be sworn in as first minister on Wednesday, turning into the primary ethnic minority chief of a devolved authorities and the primary Muslim to guide a significant UK social gathering.
He’s additionally Scotland’s youngest chief, taking the helm months after Rishi Sunak grew to become the youngest UK prime minister in trendy instances when he entered Downing Road aged 42.
The 37-year-old vowed to proceed pursuing the SNP’s central coverage — independence for Scotland — which Sturgeon has championed for the reason that social gathering misplaced a 2014 referendum on the problem by 10 factors.
“The folks of Scotland want independence now, greater than ever earlier than, and we would be the era that delivers independence for Scotland,” Yousaf mentioned in his victory speech.
He added his “instant precedence” was defending Scots from Britain’s cost-of-living disaster and reforming public providers.
“I’ll intention to guide Scotland and the pursuits of all of our residents, no matter your political allegiance,” Yousaf insisted, noting he would look to work “constructively” with the UK’s Conservative authorities.
Yousaf, who was well being minister in Sturgeon’s cupboard, narrowly beat finance minister Kate Forbes to grow to be SNP chief as soon as social gathering voters’ second preferences had been added to their tallies.
Ash Regan, a former minister within the cupboard, completed a distant third.
Polling signifies that round 45 % of Scots are at present in favour of Scotland leaving the UK, after 55 % of Scots rejected such a transfer in a 2014 vote.
Throughout campaigning Yousaf mentioned an excessive amount of time had been spent mentioning the UK authorities in London’s failures and never sufficient on making a imaginative and prescient for an unbiased Scotland.
He has promised a civic motion to drive the marketing campaign.
He has a problem to win over the broader Scottish voters, with a UK normal election anticipated throughout the subsequent 18 months.
In accordance with Ipsos polling, Yousaf loved a beneficial opinion amongst simply 22 % of the voters, trailing Forbes on 27 %.
Forbes, who gained 48 % of the votes within the contest, got here below the highlight for her conservative views as a member of the Free Church of Scotland, which opposes same-sex marriage and abortion.
However Yousaf, who has shut ties with Sturgeon, additionally confronted scrutiny and criticism over his report in successive roles within the Scottish authorities.
Sturgeon, 52, has served as first minister since November 2014 however mentioned final month that she felt unable to provide “each ounce of vitality” to the job.
In her remaining months in workplace she confronted uproar a few new legislation permitting anybody over 16 to vary their gender and not using a medical analysis.
The legislation would have allowed a transgender girl who was convicted of rape earlier than she started transitioning to serve a jail sentence in a women-only facility.
As debate raged, the UK authorities used an unprecedented veto to dam the laws.
The UK Supreme Courtroom final 12 months additionally dominated that the Scottish authorities couldn’t maintain a brand new referendum on sovereignty with out London’s approval.
A number of polls have since proven waning fashionable help for breaking away.
However Sturgeon mentioned she has “each confidence” that her successor will lead Scotland to independence.
The devolved authorities in Edinburgh was created in 1999 by devolution reforms initiated by the UK authorities in London.
The SNP has since emerged because the dominant power in Scottish politics, drawing help away from the Labour social gathering specifically.
However Labour is hoping Sturgeon’s departure might present a path for a possible comeback north of the English border that may pave the best way to defeat the Conservatives within the subsequent UK election.