Election campaign surprise star Nicola Sturgeon at the head of the Scottish National Party has polled as the most popular politician not only among the Scots but in the whole of the UK.
Promising to end austerity and conserve the National Health System, the 44-year-old lands her message with punch.
“A stronger voice for Scotland will mean a stronger voice for new, better and more progressive politics at Westminster for everyone.”
Scotland’s first woman First Minister, daughter of a nurse and an electrician, has been an SNP member since she was 16. She’s become a household name since the referendum on an independent Scotland last September.
When Alex Salmond formally left the top job in November 2014, the Scottish Parliament elected her.
She has rejected ruling out another plebiscite on Scottish independence, saying, “…the decision on whether there is ever another referendum is down to the Scottish people”.
“There is no short cut to Scotland becoming an independent country. If we are to do so, I believe one day we will, it will only happen if a majority of people vote for it in a referendum, where that question is on the ballot paper.’‘
With the SNP predicted to sweep up most of Scotland’s seats in the UK parliament, becoming its third-largest party, the former Glasgow solicitor will be a key player forming the next government. And she is determined it won’t be Conservative.
“If there is an anti-Tory majority in the House of Commons after the election, then even if the Tories are the biggest party we will work with Labour to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street.”
If there is one thing the Scots with Sturgeon will not negotiate on, it is the UK’s submarine-borne nuclear deterrent programme Trident, with a naval base on Scotland’s west coast.
“The SNP has made very clear that Trident is a fundamental issue for the SNP. So we would never be in any formal deal with a Labour government that is going to renew Trident.”
The MSP for Glasgow Southside lives with her husband Peter Murrell.
When she became First Minister, she called herself “a working class girl from Ayrshire”.