MSPs have voted for John Swinney to be Scotland's seventh first minister.

Unionist opposition parties also proposed their own leaders for the role, but were roundly defeated in a ballot of MSPs on Tuesday afternoon.

The vote numbers were as follows:

  • Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton – 4
  • Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross – 31
  • Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar – 22
  • SNP leader John Swinney – 64
  • Abstentions – 7

Swinney will be officially sworn in at the Court of Session on Wednesday.

After his election, Swinney spoke about his wife Elizabeth’s multiple sclerosis and the impact it has had on his family. He offered his “eternal gratitude” to his wife for the “sacrifices she is prepared to make to enable her husband to serve our country as first minister”.

He further said the "eradication of child poverty" would be among his top priorities in government.

Swinney shook hands with all of the opposition party leaders in the chamber after calling for politicians to look beyond differences on independence and work together.

"Does our disagreement on the constitution prevent us from working collaboratively within the existing powers of the Parliament to eradicate child poverty, build the economy, support jobs, address the cost of living crisis, improve the health service and tackle the climate crisis?" Swinney asked.

"I will give all of my energy and my willingness to engage and listen to ensure that that is not the case and invite others to do the same."

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In his speech before officially being elected, Swinney reached out to the opposition parties at Holyrood.

He will need to build bridges if he is to govern at the head of a minority government, and pointed to his experience working as part of one in an article for The Sunday National over the weekend.

Speaking at Holyrood, Swinney said: "We are all sitting here today because a sizeable majority believe that in key aspects of Scottish life, it is better for decisions about Scotland to be made here in Scotland.

"The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats should take pride in governing Scotland through the difficult early years of devolution, when much of the debate was about the cost of this building rather than about what we could do with the powers invested in it.

"The Conservatives, under the leadership of Annabel – now baroness – Goldie, can look back with great credit on the constructive way they often approached opposition, and they certainly helped me with a budget or two.

"The Scottish Greens have brought a distinctive voice to our politics and became the first Greens to serve in government in the United Kingdom."

After Swinney's election, Green co-leader Lorna Slater said her party's doors "remain open" if the SNP minority government needed support in passing progressive policies for the good of Scotland.

Humza Yousaf was forced to resign as first minister last week after abruptly ending the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Green party.

Scots LibDem leader Cole-Hamilton also said he was "confident" there would be areas on which his party could agree with the SNP moving forward.

Swinney will lead the SNP's group of 63 MSPs, which is two short of the 65 needed for a majority. He will need to work with opposition parties in order to secure majorities and get any new legislation into law.