A YouGov research project of Scotland's most popular celebrities and public figures has yielded what some may term surprising results.
To conduct the data over 30,000 people who self-describe themselves as Scottish, were profiled by how highly they scored each figure. In a close-second came tennis player Andy Murray and comedian Billy Connolly in third.
Alex Salmond, Sturgeon's predecessor and fellow pro-independence politician came out in fourth place. The first non-Scot to appear on the list is Queen Elizabeth II, who ranks in at number five.
Nicola Sturgeon is the most popular person amongst Scots
Sturgeon's success is described by YouGov as a: "Remarkable feat for a politician" and the polling website noted: "[Sturgeon] outperforms national treasures like David Attenborough and Judi Dench whose careers carry none of the risk for offense or division exemplified by electioneering.”
“Speaking to a party now four times larger than this time last year, Nicola Sturgeon roused respect and adoration from her supporters at the packed SNP conference in October.”
To carry out the research, analysers used the ratings Scottish YouGov members give for each public figure or celebrity. They then calculated a rank based on the proportion of positive ratings for each person, minus the margin of error, multiplied by the total number of ratings for each person.
The method balances the proportion of positive feeling in Scotland for each public figure with the reach of their fame ‒ sorting the list by positivity alone boosts people who are very difficult to dislike, but are not loved with much intensity.
The profiling also worked out the most popular figures in history in Scotland. William Wallace, a prominent figure in Wars of Scottish Independence, came out at number one.