“Official and final.” With these two adjectives, welcoming the report clearing it of any violation of the ministerial code of conduct, Nicola Sturgeon hoped Tuesday to have drawn a final line on one of the most unpleasant episodes of his career. The Scottish Prime Minister, in power since 2014, has emerged victorious from long months of political battle to the death at the top of the state. Tuesday evening, barring a huge twist, the Scottish Parliament was to reject a motion of no confidence filed against her by the opposition.
But six weeks before the Scottish Parliament election, support for Nicola Sturgeon has been eroded by this battle. Admittedly, the polls are beyond doubt: she will win the ballot. The Scottish National Party (SNP) collects around 42% of the votes in the polls, against 20% each for Labor and Conservatives. This is, however, a drop of five points from January, and it is not enough to guarantee an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament. This is however essential for the separatists, who want to use it to claim from the British government the right to hold a second referendum on independence, six years after that of 2014.