Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon is a Scottish politician who is currently serving as the fifth First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party since November 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position.
Sturgeon has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999, first as an additional member for the Glasgow electoral region from 1999 to 2007 and as the member for Glasgow Southside since 2007 (known as Glasgow Govan from 2007 to 2011).
- Full name: Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon
- Profession: Scottish politician
- Born: 19 July 1970 (age 49 years), Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine
- Height: 1.63 m
- Nickname: Nippy sweetie
- Spouse: Peter Murrell (2010)
- Residence: Bute House, Edinburgh
- Education: Greenwood Academy, Dreghorn, University of Glasgow, University of Glasgow School of Law
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About Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon was born in Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, on 19 July 1970. She is the eldest of three daughters born to Joan Kerr Sturgeon (née Ferguson, born 1952), a dental nurse and Robin Sturgeon (born 1948), an electrician.
Her family has some roots in North East England; her paternal grandmother was from Ryhope in what is now the City of Sunderland.
Sturgeon grew up in Prestwick and Dreghorn. She attended Dreghorn Primary School from 1975 to 1982 and Greenwood Academy from 1982 to 1988. She later studied at the University of Glasgow, where she studied Law.
Sturgeon graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1992 and a Diploma in Legal Practice the following year.
During her time at the University of Glasgow she was active as a member of the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association and the Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council.
Following her graduation, Sturgeon completed her legal traineeship at McClure Naismith, a Glasgow firm of solicitors, in 1995.
After qualifying as a solicitor, she worked for Bell & Craig, a firm of solicitors in Stirling, and later at the Drumchapel Law Centre in Glasgow from 1997 until her election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999.
A law graduate of the University of Glasgow, Sturgeon worked as a solicitor in Glasgow. After being elected to the Scottish Parliament, she served successively as the SNP’s shadow minister for education, health, and justice.
In 2004 she announced that she would stand as a candidate for the leadership of the SNP following the resignation of John Swinney. However, she later withdrew from the contest in favour of Alex Salmond, standing instead as depute (deputy) leader on a joint ticket with Salmond.
Both were subsequently elected, and as Salmond was still an MP in the House of Commons, Sturgeon led the SNP in the Scottish Parliament from 2004 to 2007.
The SNP won the highest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election and Salmond was subsequently appointed First Minister.
He appointed Sturgeon as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. She was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in 2012.
Following the defeat of the “Yes” campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Salmond announced that he would be resigning as party leader at the SNP party conference that November, and would resign as First Minister after a new leader was chosen.
No one else was nominated for the post by the time nominations closed, leaving Sturgeon to take the party leadership unopposed at the SNP’s annual conference. She was formally elected to succeed Salmond as First Minister on 19 November.