Out of 5,000 choices Nicola Sturgeon is the most popular and widely appreciated living person among the Scottish public ‒ four places ahead of the Queen
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. Even when she told the hall that a resounding win at next year's Holyrood elections would not be an automatic mandate for a second independence referendum, the crowd witheld criticism, trusting the long-term vision of their First Minister. She's said she hopes to lead the party into 2021's elections, and the depth of her support, unparallelled by any English politician in recent memory, makes this a real possibility.
A new analysis of the YouGov Profiles data of around 30,000 Scottish people who have contributed ratings data reveals that out of 5,000 celebrities, public figures and representatives other popular professions in public life Nicola Sturgeon is the most beloved person in Scotland.
This is a remarkable feat for a politician ‒ she outperforms national treasures like David Attenborough and Judi Dench whose careers carry none of the risk for offense or division exemplified by electioneering.
The analysis uses the thousands of ratings Scottish YouGov members give for people, brands and things every day, and calculates 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.
Billy Connolly, third in rank, has a huge level of positivity, but slightly less reach than Andy Murray and far less than Nicola Sturgeon. Interestingly, alongside Scottish nationalists the British monarchy receives a significant level of positive feeling and reach.
While the top four are Scottish, Frankie Boyle is the only other Scot in the top 20. Looking at Scots in the top 30, and including the deaceased, Charles Kennedy and David Tennant also feature highly.
We've also picked out the Scottish historical figures that receive a great deal of positive feeling but far less fame than contemporary public figures. Fittingly, considering the present-day nationalists' performance, William Wallace tops the list of historical Scots, outdoing any of the living top 20 in positivity.
Biologist Alexander Fleming, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald and Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, make the rest of the top five.