Boris Johnson vs Nicola Sturgeon – how the SNP leader can capitalise on PM’s downfall

Nicola Sturgeon: Expert discusses 'risky' Vogue interview

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Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have exchanged bitter words and insults in recent years as the topic of Scottish independence puts the pair at odds over and over again. Earlier this year, Mr Johnson said Ms Sturgeon had become politically tarnished adding the “gilt is coming off the gingerbread”. Ms Sturgeon criticised the UK PM, saying he has made little effort to meet her – blaming his “fragile male ego”. But with the PM swept up in negative backlash from the Owen Paterson – has the SNP leader been given an opportunity to move forward with her political agenda?

Boris Johnson is popular with the public and has held this accolade for many years – but now he is facing a fall in his popularity as he deals with the fallout from the Owen Paterson row.

The Prime Minister suffered a drop in his popularity after he whipped Tory MPs to back a motion which would see Mr Paterson evade punishment after an investigation suggested he undertake a 30-day suspension.

In a recent poll from Redfield and Wilton Strategies, published on November 10, the Labour Party surpassed the Tories for the first time in a year.

Labour won 38 percent support – an increase of two percentage points from the previous poll, published on November 8.

The Tories won support from 36 percent of respondents, which was an uplift of one percentage point from the last poll.

A recent Opinium poll found the Tories’ lead over Labour had narrowed to just one percentage point.

The new ranking for the Conservatives was 37 percent – falling by three percentage points compared to a previous poll.

The PM’s personal ratings also decreased to the lowest ever recorded by the pollster – slumping four percent to -20.

Half of respondents in the survey said they now disapprove of the job he is doing.

The past couple of weeks have been extremely difficult for the PM – who has attempted to focus on the COP26 climate summit despite negative headlines contributing to the gathering storm over Westminster.

The motion to rescind the so-called Leadsom amendment, which seeks to establish a new review process for MP standards, has been tabled by the Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The tabling of this motion comes as the PM admitted for the first time he could have handled the Owen Paterson row “better”.

Speaking on Sunday, the PM said: “Of course, I think things could certainly have been handled better, let me put it that way, by me.”

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Nicola Sturgeon criticised Boris Johnson for a lack of leadership at COP26 on Sunday.

She said “history may well judge” the UK PM for his lack of leadership during the climate conference.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “This comment about ‘crisis mode’ is not wrong.

“In particular, the PM should have led more than the front given the UK #COP26 presidency and (unlike) Alok Sharma and his brilliant negotiating team) didn’t sufficiently apply himself.

“History may well judge.”

Last month, the SNP leader criticised Mr Johnson due to his “fragile male ego”.

Speaking to Vogue magazine, the Scottish First Minister spoke openly about her working relationship with the Prime Minister and said it was “odd” he avoided being in the same room as her.

As Mr Johnson’s popularity wanes, Ms Sturgeon may use this opportunity to push forward with her agenda – particularly her bid for Scottish independence.

Speaking of Scottish independence, she told Vogue: “There’s no status quo, the UK that people wanted to stay a part of in 2014 arguable does not exist any longer.”

Ms Sturgeon is starting to make a case for independence in the Scottish Government’s first legislative programme since last month’s cooperation deal with the Scottish Greens.

But the PM still remains more popular with the public than the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon according to YouGov.

Ms Sturgeon recorded a ranking of 25 percent popularity according to the pollster, which was nine percentage points less than the PM.

Mr Johnson was ahead at 34 percent popularity, which makes him the second most popular political figure on the platform.

Chancellor Rishi Sunk is the most popular politician with a popularity rating of 36 percent.

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