Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been confirmed as the next leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) following the resignation of Alex Salmond.

The current deputy SNP leader confirmed she placed herself to be in the running to lead the party in September and instantly became the bookies favourite to do so.

Sturgeon, 44, was such the overwhelming favourite to replace Salmond when he steps down in November that no other member of the SNP put themselves forward as a candidate.

Salmond, who had been leader of the SNP party for the past 20 years, announced his resignation after Scotland voted against independence during the historic referendum.

SNP National Secretary Patrick Grady said that Keith Brown, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and Veterans, Angela Constance, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth & Women's Employment and Deputy Leader of the SNP Westminster Group and party Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie are the three nominees to replace Sturgeon as Deputy Minister.

SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay said he is "delighted" Sturgeon will succeed Salmond as leader of the SNP.

He added: "She will be a fantastic new leader of both the party and our country. She will build on the substantial legacy and extraordinary achievements of Alex Salmond as the longest serving First Minister, and make her own mark as she leads Scotland forward.

"I am also delighted that there is a choice of three top quality candidates for the post of deputy leader.

"Where there was deep disappointment at not winning the referendum, there is now a real focus on ensuring that Westminster delivers on its Vow to deliver extensive new powers for Scotland, so that we can build a fairer and more prosperous country.

"We can look forward with great optimism to our new leadership team taking forward this work in the best interests of Scotland."