What the international press said about Nicola Sturgeon's resignation

The First Minister's shock decision to quit made headlines around the world.

Nicola Sturgeon: What international press had to say about First Minister’s resignation Flickr

Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation as First Minister hit headlines across the UK and all over the world.

The SNP leader said she could “no longer give the job everything it deserved” in a hastily arranged press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh.

The FM said she had “wrestled” with the decision for a considerable period, but added there was a greater “intensity and brutality” of life as a leading politician in the modern era, citing the “physical and mental impact” on her as a major factor.

News outlets around the world covered the 52-year-old’s shock departure after eight years in office.

Much of the coverage painted her as a dominant force in the independence movement, with some arguing she was a “divisive” figure in British politics.


Newspaper Le Monde said Sturgeon’s departure was a “bombshell” in the political arena.

It added: “Despite a very turbulent past few weeks, Sturgeon has remained the undisputed leader of politics and the most popular ahead of all her rivals and opponents.

“And her party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), is well ahead in the polls. But she no longer feels she has the energy and enthusiasm to continue.”


Italian newspaper La Repubblica described the First Minister as ‘Scotland’s Iron Lady’, or “Lady MacBeth to her critics”.

A columnist added: “When we met her, her political ruthlessness was disarming: even in the face of a mistake that had forced her into a corner, she always knew how to come out with her head held high.”

United States

The New York Times said Sturgeon’s departure removes “one of the most formidable figures from British politics” who “dedicated her life” to Scottish independence.

They said she was “too polarising a figure to lead the country’s hurly-burly politics as it weighs another bid to break from Britain”.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post headline hailed Sturgeon as “the Tories’ best foil”.

They suggested she appeared to “relish the fight” with Westminster government and that her exit has “the potential to shift the political landscape both in Scotland and the UK generally”.

El Pais broke the news of Nicola Sturgeon's exit on its front page


Spanish newspaper El Pais featured Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation on the front page with the headline ‘Sturgeon, the prime minister who encouraged secessionism, resigns’.

Its coverage suggested that the independence movement was on the wane in Scotland and said the “jug of cold water” from the Supreme Court blocking indyref2 made her realise MSPs were only willing to follow her “up to halfway.”

Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia said Sturgeon’s departure would “exceed ten on the Richter scale” if it applied to politics.

While they said there were rumours and speculation for a long time, it would throw up questions around Scottish independence and be the “end of one era and the beginning of another”.


Dafens Nyheter suggested the UK Government “may have been provoked by her biting criticism” in calls for more devolved powers, tackling climate change and the “stubborn fight” for independence.

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Sturgeon was described as “one of the most polarising figures in British politics for the past decade” by Australian daily The Sydney Morning Herald.

They said the leader resigned “amid a backlash over her efforts to secure a fresh independence vote and controversy over proposed transgender laws”.


Canada’s leading newspaper the Globe and Mail said a series of “political setbacks” contributed to Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation – throwing “the Scottish independence movement into turmoil” and raising “questions about a future referendum on sovereignty”.


German newspaper’s commentary had the headline ‘Her goal was almost impossible to reach’, adding that Sturgeon wanted an independent Scotland “at all costs”.

It went on to suggest she would have felt lacking support even within her own party and “the polarising, brutal” nature of politics had taken its toll on the leader.

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