Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The Sunday Post View: Should she choose to accept it, the first minister now faces a mission improbable

Post Thumbnail

Nicola Sturgeon has not, so far, dangled from a helicopter, held her breath for six and a half minutes underwater or run down the side of the world’s tallest building.

And we would probably have noticed if she had leapt on a TV chat show’s sofa to proclaim her passionate love for her husband. In her heels she might be the same height but, really, Nicola Sturgeon probably doesn’t have that much in common with Tom Cruise at all.

However, circumstance and coincidence mean she will soon celebrate becoming Scotland’s longest-serving first minister as the Hollywood superstar takes off in another Top Gun and commentators in Scotland and Tinsel Town have been pondering the secret of their longevity at the top.

Cruise is by all accounts the hardest-working star in the LA firmament and not even her harshest detractors could say the FM shirks a shift but she has not dominated Scottish politics for nearly eight years just because she’s a grafter.

An excellent communicator with a seeming air of decency and good intentions, she is a serious and skilled politician but, still, it was her good fortune to take charge of the SNP as one issue divided Scotland in two, with the support of one half making her party and government pretty much unassailable. If that was her good fortune, the SNP were even luckier to have her.

The idea was that Sturgeon’s administration, like her predecessor’s, would not scare a single horse. It would be a government of solid competence. Voters unconvinced by its case for independence would, despite themselves, warm to a party capable of pulling the levers of power with such care and confidence.

That’s the theory. From ferries that cannot be built and a census that may not be relied on to new hospitals that risk the lives of patients and a smelter in Invergordon where £570m of taxpayers’ money remains on the line, the reality is a trickier sell for the Scottish Government.

Experts run the rule over Nicola Sturgeon’s legacy as she becomes Scotland’s longest-serving first minister

However, the thing is, when the country is split and in stasis, it does not matter much. The personal approval ratings of Sturgeon would be envied by any politician in any country while her party has just knocked another election out of the park after 15 years in power. The normal physics of politics no longer apply in Scotland.

The first minister is also as smart as a whip, however, and will not need to be told a government cocooned from the consequences of its mistakes is at risk of dangerous complacency, corrosive hubris and a blithe confidence that it will always be this way.

How Nicola Sturgeon – or any leader – ensures a government apparently cloaked in invincibility refreshes and rejuvenates in office is anyone’s guess.

It might not be Mission Impossible but it’s got to be improbable.