NICOLA Sturgeon is the only one of the four main UK party leaders to have a positive approval rating in Scotland, a new opinion poll has shown.

The Opinium poll, conducted from January 6-7, showed that 57% of Scots either strongly or somewhat approve of Sturgeon’s leadership. 33% disapprove of the First Minister’s leadership to some extent, while 9% have no opinion.

These figures mean the SNP leader has a net rating of +24% in Scotland. This is far ahead of Conservative leader Boris Johnson’s -42%, Labour leader Keir Starmer’s -1%, and LibDems leader Ed Davey’s -21%.

However, the Scottish sample was only 169 people.

Across the UK, Opinium polled 2002 adults. In that wider poll Sturgeon tied with Starmer for the leader with the highest net approval rating. Both enjoy ratings of +15%, which outstrips Johnson’s -7% and Davey’s -8%.

However, Sturgeon is a slightly more controversial figure than Starmer. 43% of people across the UK approve of the First Minister to some extent, while 28% do not. Starmer has an approval rating of 40%, and a disapproval rating of 25%.

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Elsewhere in the poll, 52% of people in the UK think Johnson should resign as Prime Minister, when Don’t Knows are excluded. This rises to 63% in Scotland.

However, a vast majority of Conservative voters (87%) think Johnson should stay on as leader, with just 7% thinking he should resign.

If a General Election were to be held tomorrow, the poll suggests, Labour would hold a one-point lead on 40% of the vote, with the Conservatives on 39%. The LibDems would win 6%, the SNP on 5%, and the Greens on 4%.

Commenting, SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: “This poll makes clear the strong support in Scotland for the outstanding leadership of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she leads the country through this unprecedented Coronavirus crisis.

“It follows over a dozen consecutive polls showing independence has now become the settled will of the people of Scotland.

“Faced with the chaotic and incompetent leadership of Boris Johnson and a Westminster system which treats Scotland as an afterthought at best, more and more people are deciding that the best way forward for Scotland’s right to choose a future as an equal, independent country in the EU.

"We have the right to determine our own future. The only way to protect our interests, secure a strong economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis, and regain the full benefits of EU membership is with the full powers of independence."