London: Nicola Sturgeon will become the new leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party -- and therefore Scotland`s first minister -- as she was the only candidate when nominations closed on Wednesday.
Sturgeon, Scotland`s deputy first minister, will replace SNP leader and current First Minister Alex Salmond.
He announced his intention to resign after Scots voted to stay in the United Kingdom in the September 18 referendum.
Sturgeon`s leadership of the left-of-centre party will be officially confirmed at the SNP conference next month.
Following that, her election as first minister must be approved by the Scottish parliament, where the SNP has a slim majority, and receive the assent of Queen Elizabeth II.
"I am delighted that Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as leader of the SNP," the party`s business convener Derek Mackay said.
"She will be a fantastic new leader of both the party and our country," he said.
Sturgeon, 44, was seen as the brains behind Scotland`s independence campaign, overseeing the White Paper, a prospectus for separation.
Scotland voted by 55 percent to 45 percent to remain in the UK. London promised the swift devolution of major powers to the Scottish parliament if Scots rejected independence.