KATE Forbes has said she is the candidate Unionists fear most, insisting she would be the leader to win around No voters.

The Finance Secretary came under fire from Humza Yousaf after the leader of the Scottish Tories used Forbes’s criticisms of the SNP to attack the Scottish Government at First Minister’s Questions earlier that day.

But Forbes said the party’s opponents were most worried about her becoming first minister, claiming they believe her to be the biggest threat to the Union.

During the Channel 4 debate on Thursday night, Forbes said: “They [the SNP’s opponents] do fear me, as the polling shows.

“Ultimately the future first minister is not going to just win the support of SNP members – they have to reach out and win support from the wider public.”

READ MORE: Kate Forbes and Ash Regan call out 'serial hustings attendees'

Yousaf accused Forbes of going to far in her recent criticisms of his performance.

He said: “We’re only going to win support for our cause if we work together as a team. But what unfortunately happened in the last TV debate, Kate, is that you essentially gave our opponents so much ammunition to attack us with.”

In response, Forbes said: “The future first minister is going to have to deal with a lot worse than we’ve been dealing with through this contest.

“They’re going to have to stand up to the UK Government, they’re going to have to stand up to the opposition – and they’re going to be accountable to the people of Scotland who want answers and they want to see competent delivery of results.”

It comes after a Channel 4 poll carried out before the debate showed Forbes and Yousaf were neck-and-neck among SNP voters.

Regan, who came third in the poll, would not commit to naming who she would pick as her second choice as host Krishnan Guru Murty said her second choice votes could be decisive for the winner.