If SNP wins in 2016, Nicola Sturgeon will plan to stay on for a decade
First Minister states her intention to contest the 2021 election as leader of the SNP, which could mean her staying in power until 2025
If the SNP wins the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections then Nicola Sturgeon will plan to stay on as First Minister for a decade.
The First Minister has stated her intention to contest the 2021 election as leader of the SNP – assuming the party wins the 2016 election – which could mean her staying in power until 2025.
Sturgeon made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with Holyrood magazine, covering her party’s reaction to Michelle Thomson’s withdrawal from the SNP whip, Sturgeon’s experience of leading her party, and the election of Jeremy Corbyn.
The FM was asked whether, like David Cameron, she would set a date for standing down as leader.
She said: “I have been First Minister for less than a year, and I am about to face an election which for the first time I will look the Scottish people in the eye and say, ‘vote for me as First Minister’.
“I think it would be rather strange if I was already deciding when I would stand down, but let’s put it this way, if I win the next election, and I take nothing for granted, then it will be my plan to also fight the election after that as leader as well, all being well and unforeseen circumstances aside.”
Sturgeon was also asked what sort of legacy she expected to leave as First Minister.
She said: “I haven’t even be First Minister for a year, so I am not going to talk about my political legacy and whatever the polls say, I don’t take this election for granted, partly because you shouldn’t take any election for granted, but in a PR system, winning a majority is an incredibly difficult thing to do. There will be no complacency, no taking it for granted. I hope we can win, I intend to win and I will be aiming to win a majority.
She continued: “It’s too early for me to talk about legacy, but I have very clearly said that education and closing the attainment gap is a personal as well as a government priority for me and what I have said openly, which some people think is a daft thing to do, is ‘judge me on that’. You can’t judge me on that now because these things take time, but over my period of tenure as First Minister, however long that will be, I want to be judged on that and I am prepared to be judged on that.”
The full interview features in the latest issue of Holyrood.