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by Louise Wilson
28 April 2021
Ashcroft poll: Nicola Sturgeon is a ‘lion’ but Alex Salmond labelled a ‘snake’ by voters


Ashcroft poll: Nicola Sturgeon is a ‘lion’ but Alex Salmond labelled a ‘snake’ by voters

Nicola Sturgeon is most like a lion or a panther according to voters taking part in the latest Lord Ashcroft poll.

The feline comparisons reflect a perception of strong leadership throughout the pandemic.

One focus group participant said: “Nicola is a lion. I’ve sort of got that image in my head of The Lion King, you know, standing on top of the rock and surveying her kingdom and offering leadership.”

Another said a panther because Sturgeon was “cunning but with a bit of integrity.”

However, not all voters were as flattering. One participant compared the First Minister to a hyena. They said: “There’s something I don’t trust about her. She’s too self-assured, I think.”

Other political leaders also fared poorly when voters were asked which animal they were most like.

Former first minister Alex Salmond was compared to a warthog, a snake and a toad, reflecting an overall negative view of him.

The words most often used to describe the Alba Party leader were “arrogant,” “smug,” “dodgy” and “dishonest.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was compared to animals considered annoying or dangerous.

One voter said: “A mosquito – seems a bit harmless and annoying because of his clown persona but actually probably is going to give you malaria.”

Others suggested he was similar to a baboon, an orangutan or a pigeon.

Views on Labour leader Keir Starmer were mixed, with some voters considering him to be “competent” while others thought him “weak” and “indecisive”.

His animal comparisons were with creatures that keep a low profile, such as a mole.

One participant suggested: “A sloth. Slow to react. Amazing opportunities to react to things but by the time he kind of raises his head and looks up, you know, the Tories have dodged another bullet.”

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