After a “no” result in Scotland’s independence referendum, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, has announced that he will resign. During his decades-long career, Salmond turned the SNP from a messy political organ into the most popular party in Scotland by membership. He will also be resigning his position as First Minister, the head of Scotland’s “devolved” parliament in Edinburgh, which he has held since May 2007. From the BBC:
Mr Salmond said: “For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.”
Speaking from Bute House in Edinburgh, the first minister’s official residence, he told journalists: “I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6m voters who rallied to that cause.”
Mr Salmond, 59, who has led his party for a total of 20 years, also said there were a “number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader”, although the current deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, also deputy SNP leader, would be seen as a clear frontrunner.
Salmond’s brand of Scottish nationalism galvanized the “Yes” campaign, but ultimately came up short following a late surge in efforts from the unionist side including recent, passionate appeals from Gordon Brown, the former Labour prime minister of the U.K. and a Scot.
More than 1.6 million Scots voted for independence in the referendum.