The time has come for the former Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, to officially initiate his leadership bid for the SNP in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.

Reports indicate that Swinney is finally in a position to confirm his candidacy after securing widespread endorsement from the majority of the Scottish Cabinet.

The official launch of his campaign is expected to take place at a central location in Edinburgh, starting from 10.30am.

Meanwhile, he’s not the only one eyeing top leadership spot. Kate Forbes, who is seen as a strong contender to replace Humza Yousaf, is also gearing up to announce her intentions.

According to insiders, Swinney would rather avoid a leadership race, and is open to the idea of offering Forbes a Cabinet post as a trade-off for not standing in the leadership contest.

Concerns were raised as supporters of both potential leaders heightened tensions, prompting the former leader, Nicola Sturgeon, to call for calmness and unity amidst the ongoing events.

It seems behind-the-scenes talks are being held by the two hopefuls with the shared aim of preventing the party from undergoing a potent divisive contest.

Speaking on the rising tension, Sturgeon said:

“I hope the contest is positive. I hope it is forward looking and I hope it focuses on the things that the SNP needs to do to continue its very strong election-winning streak.”

Sturgeon has had a close working relationship with Swinney, having served as his deputy for nearly a decade – a sign of mutual respect. Nevertheless, she was quick to acknowledge the potential of Forbes, saying:

“Kate has been a considerable part of the government I led. I brought her into the government, so undoubtedly, she’s a woman of exceptional capacity, although to my knowledge she hasn’t declared her interest yet.”

She offers advice to fellow party members:

“Maintain civility in the contest, whilst focusing on the future. I would further urge them to consider their choices based on what serves the SNP best in the long term.”

“We have been governing for an ample period, and it’s crucial to turn our attention on future plans that will ensure Scotland’s advancement and enable the SNP to maintain its electoral dominance.”

Both Swinney and Forbes, who share a cordial rapport, met at the Holyrood in Glasgow to discuss about a potential alliance.

It’s said that Swinney’s stalwarts expressed their desire for him to offer Forbes a Cabinet comeback following her exit after her defeat to Yousaf the previous year.