Previously on the SNP...
From Sturgeon's resignation to Murrell's. All the drama of the SNP contest so far.
The SNP leadership campaign has been running for a month now.
I know! Only a month.
So much has happened since Nicola Sturgeon looked at the SNP and decided it was time for change that it is easy to forget just how extraordinary and damaging the contest has been for the party.
As we approach the final full week of the contest, and look forward to the thrilling season finale of the SNP, here is a day-by-day reminder of everything that has come to pass.
Nicola Sturgeon resigns.
She refuses to answer questions about the ongoing police investigation into the SNP’s finances, as overseen by her husband, SNP Chief Executive, Peter Murrell.
A Lord Ashcroft poll finds support for leaving the UK lower than in 2014.
The SNP cancel their planned special conference which was to discuss Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to use the General Election as a de facto referendum.
Ipsos poll finds that almost twice as many voters think Yousaf would do a bad job as FM as think he would do a good job. Half of Yes voters think Sturgeon’s departure harms the case for independence.
A YouGov poll finds SNP’s lead over Labour in Westminster voting intentions down to single digits.
Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan both announce their intention to stand.
Ash Regan announces plans for a de facto referendum at every election.
In a day for visual metaphors, Yousaf launches his campaign, standing in front of an emergency exit while Angus Robertson announces he won’t stand for leader from a graveyard.
Yousaf pours praise on Peter Murrell and dismisses the idea he should quit.
Kate Forbes says she would not have voted to allow gay people to marry.
A senior member of her own campaign tells the Scotsman “she has f**ed it” but a new poll suggests Forbes is more popular with SNP supporters than Yousaf.
SNP MPs who had backed Forbes withdraw their support over her gay marriage comments. Her campaign manager distances himself from his candidate’s position.
Forbes says having children outside of marriage (now the majority of new births in Scotland) is “wrong.”
The SNP press office lies to The Scottish Sun claiming the party has around 100,000 members, a mistruth repeated in different forms to the Sunday Mail, and The National.
Ash Regan issues an appeal for calm.
The Scottish Government auditor reported that Yousaf was going to miss his target for fixing the GP crisis.
Nicola Sturgeon’s shushing during FMQs shows what she thinks about Yousaf’s advice on the NHS:
Former Heath Secretary Alex Neil claims Yousaf deliberately arranged a Ministerial meeting so he could avoid voting for equal marriage.
Meanwhile, six SNP MSPs are reported to be planning to block Forbes as First Minister if she is elected.
Ash Regan launches her campaign with a call for Peter Murrell to resign.
Another poll shows support for leaving the UK unchanged since 2014.
A letter emerges, written by Kate Forbes, where she argues that women should not be church ministers and rails against “feminist power arguments”.
Humza Yousaf posts about a “visit” to Dundee. The city where he lives. He is MSP for a constituency in Glasgow.
Kate Forbes speaks to the Times and criticises those who believe public services need more money. She does not resist the interviewer’s comparisons to David Cameron.
Ash Regan cites Ireland and the United States as examples of how to become independent of the UK without the consent of the UK. She doesn’t mention their Wars of Independence.
It is revealed that the SNP’s former treasurer, who resigned saying HQ would not give him access to party accounts, was interviewed by police.
The SNP Government Secretary for the Economy says her government’s policy could cause “economic carnage”.
Jacob Rees Mogg comes out in support of Forbes.
It is revealed that Kate Forbes’ first political job was funded by a shadowy right-wing anti-abortion group.
SNP HQ announces the media will not be allowed to attend leadership hustings, a decision they are forced to drop.
The first question of the first hustings is about the ‘lies of the mainstream media’. No candidate challenges the speaker on behalf of press freedom.
Ash Regan says she can set up a separate currency within a couple of months.
John Swinney resigns as Deputy First Minister.
Kate Forbes tells The National that she won’t let civil servants write a fresh prospectus for independence.
Ash Regan tells Laura Kussenberg that an election “is the same as a referendum if you think about it.” She also says the Scottish Government should prevent the King from using the Stone of Destiny in his coronation.
INDEPENDENCE THERMOMETER AGAIN!
Ash Regan suggests she is worried that watching Border TV is turning Scottish voters bad.
Kate Forbes savages Humza Yousaf’s record in the STV debate.
Shona Robison, who sits around the Cabinet table with Forbes was not happy with her attack on Yousaf and the suggestion that the SNP’s record was “mediocre”. Robison suggested she may refuse to serve under Forbes leadership and raised concerns about whether the Finance Minister could protect women’s reproductive rights.
A new poll by Redfield & Wilton asked which of the SNP leadership candidates would be the best First Minister. 25% said Kate Forbes, 18% Humza Yousef, and 14% Ash Regan. 44% say they don’t know.
A Channel Four News poll asks voters which candidate would make the best First Minister. Forbes leads. Yousaf ties with ‘none of the above’.
In the handicraft section of the contest, Ash Regan uses the evening’s hustings to unveil mock-ups of the bank notes she claims would be used" “within weeks” of Scotland becoming independent. The designs include this unicorn banknote.
All three candidates trash their own government’s GERS figures. Most remarkably Kate Forbes dismisses them as inaccurate and illegitimate despite the fact her own staff is responsible for producing them.
A new Survation poll found all three candidates are vote losers for the SNP.
A letter from SNP parliamentarians, including two of Kate Forbes’ fellow ministers, warned that only Humza Yousaf could be trusted to celebrate and protect LGBT rights.
Peter Murrell faces claims he directed SNP members to close ranks to protect a sex pest Councillor.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service takes Forbes to task over her anti-abortion views.
SNP Minister Ben MacPherson writes that Scotland is not ready for independence.
Pat Kane endorses Yousaf saying “he’s no more ‘out of his depth’ than any of his opponents.”
Kate Forbes suggests gay people should have the choice to undergo conversion therapy.
All three candidates suggest they would bring down a labour government if Keir Starmer doesn’t hold another referendum.
Ash Regan has a car crash moment as she’s unable to name the institutions needed to run the currency she says she could establish in a few weeks.
A YouGov poll suggests the candidates are viewed negatively compared to the current First Minister:
The SNP’s Environment Minister attacks Kate Forbes's “right of centre” views.
A YouGov poll asked whether Scots thought that we would still be part of the UK in ten years’ time. 52% thought we would still be in the UK. Just 30% believe we will leave within a decade.
The candidates predict the SNP will deliver independence within five years.
Regan and Forbes write to party HQ complaining that they have not been told how many members are voting in the election. SNP HQ refuses to give out this information.
Forbes demands independent observers amid claims of a rigged election.
Humza Yousaf meets women Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war. He asks them where all the men are.
Under pressure, the SNP reveal that the party has lost 30,000 members since the last Scottish Parliament elections and 54,000 members since the last General Election. it is in direct contradiction to earlier untrue statements given to the media.
John Swinney announces further delays to the infamous ferries, the first of which was launched with painted-on windows and a fake funnel when Yousaf was Minister for Transport and the Islands. Talking of visual metaphors…
Murray Foote resigns as the SNP’s Communications Director after having been given false information about the SNP’s membership numbers which he then gave to the press.
SNP sources are briefing against Peter Murrell, suggesting it is time he resigned. One, fittingly enough, quotes Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy: “If it is to be done then best it is done quickly.”
All three candidates say they will miss the Coronation if elected First Minister and instead attend a rally organised by All Under One Banner, an organisation that includes those on the extreme fringe of nationalism in their events.
Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff resigns.
SNP NEC members threaten a vote of no confidence in Peter Murrel.
Peter Murrell resigns.
Advocate of NHS privatisation, Mike Russell, takes over on an interim basis.
Kate Forbes sends a message to members promising “smaller focussed government” if she becomes First Minister.
Ash Regan plagiarises a speech from the TV show The West Wing.
UPDATE: While I was writing this the First Minister’s sister, a well known SNP activist, has posted that she would rather vote Tory than for Forbes or Regan.
There’s a week and a bit of the contest still to go. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?