EDINBURGH: The steely and polished Scottish independence leader Nicola Sturgeon has emerged as an unlikely star of Britain’s unpredictable election race and could decide who is prime minister after Thursday’s election.
Once little known south of the border, Sturgeon’s formidable performances in election debates have made her one of the most talked-about figures in the campaign — despite not running for a seat in Westminster herself.
The Scottish first minister has criticised austerity and advocated the SNP as a “progressive force” with quick humour and a clipped Scottish accent that have cut a swathe through Britain’s male-dominated politics.
Right-wing newspapers have dubbed her the “most dangerous woman in Britain” and a Conservative attack poster depicted her as a puppet master pulling the strings.
Nevertheless, she is the most popular political leader in Britain according to a TNS poll, which gave her an 33 percent approval rating compared with seven percent for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
Labour leader Ed Miliband scored minus eight in the TNS poll, which adds negative ratings to positive for a net score.