In her eight years as First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon led her country’s campaign for independence from the UK. This campaign suffered a major setback four months ago when the Supreme Court in London ruled that the Scottish parliament did not have the power to hold a referendum on independence without the permission of the UK Government. Sturgeon responded by announcing that the next general election would serve as a de facto referendum. This decision was furiously opposed by Scottish opposition groups. On Wednesday, she informed her SNP party she had decided to step down and will remain in post until a new party leader is found.