With the SNP leadership contest now underway, three contenders are in the running to replace Nicola Sturgeon as party leader and first minister of Scotland.

Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan are going head-to-head in a series of local party hustings to prove to members that they should lead the country.

Broadcaster STV was the first to announce that all three candidates would be taking part in a televised husting.

Why is an SNP leadership contest taking place?

A party leadership contest was called after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she would be vacating the top job.

Sturgeon has been First Minister since 2014 and has been in power for around eight years.

The announcement was broadcast live from Bute House with the outgoing FM telling viewers: "The First Minister of Scotland is, in my admittedly biased opinion, the very best job in the world.

"It is a privilege beyond measure, one that has sustained and inspired me in good times and through the toughest hours of my toughest days.

"I am proud to stand here as the first female and longest-serving incumbent of this office, and I’m very proud of what has been achieved in the years I’ve been in Bute House.

Adding that leaders must know when to step down before telling the country: "Today, I am announcing my intention to step down as First Minister and leader of my party."

Who are the candidates vying to lead the SNP?

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan are in the running to take over as SNP leader.

When is the SNP debate on STV taking place?

The STV debate will air live from 9 pm on Tuesday, March 7.

How will the SNP debate on STV work?

The show will see all three candidates take part in a debate hosted by STV political editor Colin Mackay.

Mackay will put forward questions to those in the running while allowing each of them to cross-examine each other.

Members of the public will also be invited and be able to put their questions to the three party figures.

The programme will last for 70 minutes and be broadcast live.

BBC to host SNP leadership husting in Debate Night special

The BBC has announced that it will also host a leadership debate featuring the three candidates running for FM.

The debate will have a live studio audience and form part of a special edition of Debate Night on BBC One.

It will take place from 9pm on Tuesday, March 14 and be hosted by Stephen Jardine.

Sky and Channel 4 will also hold live debates, while The National and SNP TUG will livestream their hustings this Saturday.

The SNP debate on STV will be available to watch on STV and STV Player from 9pm on March 7.