At a news conference on February 15, the pro-independence leader declared that, after nine years in government, the time had come to leave.

A nation of 5.5 million people set a record.

Unexpected retirement

According to The Herald, the “face of Scottish politics” is retiring. Nicola Sturgeon, a supporter of Scottish independence and the country’s Prime minister since November 2014, made her resignation public on Wednesday, February 15.

At a hurriedly called press conference at her official residence in Edinburgh soon after noon local time, she explained that, in her perspective, effective leadership entails knowing when to give up one’s seat: “This is a pivotal time for myself, my party, and my nation”.

The decision, which the Glasgow-based daily calls “unexpected,” comes after nine years in office, which is a record since the establishment of a devolved parliament and administration in this country of 5.5 million people, a constituent of the United Kingdom, in 1998. The Scottish National Party (SNP) will name a replacement for Nicola Sturgeon, the organization’s first female leader.


A leading party, but fading

The 52-year-old leader assumed control of the government towards the end of 2014, just a few weeks after voters rejected secession, according to the British press. She had planned to organize a fresh referendum on secession at the end of 2023, but that dream was dashed by a British Supreme Court decision last year.

In the 2019 UK general election, the SNP won a resounding majority of the Westminster seats in Scotland, solidifying its rule north of Hadrian’s Wall. The independence-supporting political party also triumphed handily in the local elections of 2021; however, the SNP needed the support of the Greens to secure a majority. The National, a newspaper that supports secession, admits that “but its popularity had taken a knock in recent weeks.” Failures in the fight against poverty, educational disparity, and drug overdoses are to blame for this.

Its fragility was primarily caused by a fierce controversy over the passage of a law on gender at the end of December and by a saga involving the detention of a trans prisoner who was found guilty of two rapes in a women’s facility.


Independence of Scotland

The medias have been assured by Nicola Sturgeon that she would uphold her promise to independence in the local parliament until the next election, which is slated for 2025, after she stated that “this is not about short-term constraints.”

The electorate’s support for leaving London appears to be waning in the most recent polls, after reaching an all-time high during the Covid-19 outbreak.