ON Wednesday night, Andy Murray caught the attention of Nicola Sturgeon when he suggested he could be eyeing up her job.

The Scottish tennis player jokingly tweeted that there was an “interesting vacancy” to be filled following the First Minister’s resignation announcement.

Tweeting a BBC News article announcing that the SNP leader would be stepping down, the Glasgow-born athlete said: “Interesting vacancy. Was looking to get into politics when I finish playing.”

It’s something Sturgeon seemed keen on, as she tweeted: “I know I said I wouldn’t endorse anyone as my successor, but ...”

Of course, there is no way Andy Murray, Scotland's world tennis champion, could run and become SNP leader … right?

Could Andy Murray run to become the next leader of the SNP?

Yes, technically, if he was a member of the SNP before Wednesday, February 15.

Under SNP rules, any member of the party – last reported to be around 100,000 people – could put their hat in the ring to become leader.

But the next stage is the hard part.

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Any potential candidate must gather at least 100 nominations from members of the party across at least 20 local branches.

If just one candidate runs, they are automatically elected as leader of the party.

The National: Could Andy Murray replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister? Probably notCould Andy Murray replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister? Probably not

This is what happened to Nicola Sturgeon. No one opposed her when she ran to replace Alex Salmond, and as such there was no contest.

So is Murray an SNP member?

No one knows. Murray has stayed apolitical throughout most of his career – although his tweet just before the 2014 independence referendum suggested he backed the Yes side.

And since then he has become even more political, taking on the likes of Nigel Farage in recent times.

Could Andy Murray become the next SNP leader?

If he is an SNP member and if he chooses to run and if he wins the chances of Murray becoming Scotland’s next first minister are slim to zero.

Scotland’s parliamentary system requires the first minister to be an MSP, which Murray is not.

So it’s likely Murray won’t be moving into Bute House any time.

But on the off chance he is a member of the SNP, he will nevertheless get a vote on who the next leader is.

When will a new SNP leader be elected?

The SNP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) determines all the timings in an SNP leadership contest, such as the nomination period and the date the results will be announced.

The National: Nominations for party leader have already openedNominations for party leader have already opened (Image: PA)

Party rules state there is no strict timetable for such elections after “a vacancy arises for leader”.

But rules do say that voting can take a maximum of 18 days from the close of nominations. There are three days for counting the ballots before the winner is announced.

If only one candidate steps forward then the election will be fairly quick but if there are multiple who meet the threshold a campaign will begin which could also allow members to attend hustings.

All of that is yet to be announced and will be up to the NEC.