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The rise and fall of Nicola Sturgeon – Audio Long Reads

The Scottish National Party reached its electoral zenith under the First Minister, who quit abruptly this month. Where did it all go wrong?

By Chris Deerin

The New Statesman’s Scotland editor Chris Deerin has been reporting on the SNP since 1996, when as a young political correspondent he sparred with its then leader Alex Salmond. The party was then an outlier, with only three Scottish MPs to Labour’s 49. Just over ten years later, in 2007, Salmond became first minister and appointed a shy, ambitious protégé as his deputy: Nicola Sturgeon.

In this definitive account, Deerin traces Sturgeon’s political journey – to the top of her party, through the 2014 independence referendum, a bitter fallout with Salmond, and ultimately her resignation. Was her commitment to new gender recognition legislation, and to a second independence referendum, a miscalculation? How will she be remembered in Edinburgh, Westminster and beyond? 

Written and read by Chris Deerin.

This article was originally published as the New Statesman’s 24 February 2023 magazine cover story. You can read the text version here.

If you enjoyed this episode, you might also enjoy: World Prince: what drives Emmanuel Macron’s global ambitions

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
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  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
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  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
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Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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