The SNP has been in power for 15 years at Holyrood, long enough that the generation approaching the end of secondary school has never known anything different.
And yet what has actually been achieved by the SNP during its time in office? What has Sturgeon, Scotland’s self-appointed “chief mammy”, done to improve the lives of ordinary Scots?
The past decade and a half could have been a time of national renewal, of radical ideas, of reforming zeal. Above all, it was an opportunity for Sturgeon, and her predecessor Alex Salmond, not only to govern in the here and now but to offer a glimpse of a brighter independent future.
But if the party’s early years in power under Salmond were about the need to demonstrate competence and good governance, the latter have seen a slide into managerialism and mediocrity.
On Sturgeon’s watch, life expectancy is falling, while levels of child poverty are on the rise. The educational attainment gap – supposedly the first minister’s defining mission – has widened once more, while the rate of drug deaths in Scotland is not only three-and-a-half times higher than the rest of the UK but higher than anywhere else in Europe.
And yet if you listen to the party’s rhetoric, it’s as if the past 15 years never happened. The level of scrutiny the SNP quite rightly applies to the Conservative government at Westminster shouldn’t be applied to the government at Holyrood, it seems. Like justice minister Keith Brown, who recently ducked into the Scottish parliament canteen to avoid journalists’ questions, the SNP is hiding from its record in government.