MAYBE there’s something in the water, or maybe the General Election has just encouraged opposition leaders to be a bit less shit. Whatever the reason, it was another tricky FMQs for Nicola Sturgeon.

"PISA results for science and maths have never been lower than those released this week, have they?" asked Jackson Carlaw.

The First Minister replied: "Compared to the last PISA study the performance in science and maths is stable – but that’s not good enough."

"Stable" is how independent statisticians have described the figures, but still. That’s not a word you want to be using to describe any aspect of education performance that your government is responsible for. It brings imagery to mind of a hospital bed surrounded by Get Well Soon cards and machines beeping ominously in the background. Or Theresa May’s infamously ‘strong and stable’ government.

"Stable" is how you would describe the year-on-year rise of Boris Johnson’s name appearing in the ‘Father’ column of birth certificates. It’s how the anger management counsellor – hired by Brexit party MEP Richard Tice after he lost his shit at Nicola Sturgeon during the leaders' debate – would describe his progress in their sessions to date.

The First Minister went on to say that she would like to see improvements in science and maths, similar to improvements that have been made in literacy and reading, citing the Pupil Equity Fund and First Minister’s Reading Challenge as initiatives that have helped boost attainment.

Jackson Carlaw has upped his game in recent weeks with all the vigour of a second wife trying to win over her new in-laws. In response to the First Minister, he quipped: "I welcome the figures in reading but it’s a little bit like people celebrating the fact they’ve just had their kitchen re-decorated when the front two rooms in the house are on fire."

An hour before FMQs got under way, the news broke that Susan Deacon had resigned her post as Chair of the Scottish Police Authority.

Richard Leonard asked the First Minister what her response was to comments made by Deacon that "the governance and accountability arrangements for policing in Scotland are fundamentally flawed in structure, culture and practice." And there was Nicola Sturgeon thinking that the ‘bam or not a bam’ round of questions from Scot Squad’s comedy creation Chief Miekelson was the most trouble she’d have with the Scottish police this week.

Willie Rennie went on Deacon’s resignation too, declaring that Police Scotland was "in crisis".

Nicola Sturgeon hit back at Rennie’s assessment: "I have to say to Willie Rennie that Police Scotland is NOT in crisis. I think it does a disservice to the police officers around our country, working so hard to keep us safe, to say so."

She cited the improvements that have been made in governance and accountability and committed to support police officers, who she said do a "fantastic job"

"Tell that to the one-third of our police officers who are turning up to work mentally unwell!" replied Rennie, before accusing Nicola Sturgeon of being in "cloud cuckoo land."

On and on it went, with the First Minister battling against a chamber of people who have clearly been taking tips from Andrew Neil on how to apply proper scrutiny.

If we judge how well the weekly session has gone for Nicola Sturgeon by the volume of whoops and cheers from her wingman John Swinney then – given his uncharacteristic quietness - that had to be up there as one of the worst.