When it comes to televised political debates Nicola Sturgeon must be one of the most experienced politicians in the UK.
Over the years, she has performed well against the likes of David Cameron and Ed MIilband.
And this weekend, for example, she was on both the BBC and ITV fighting the SNP’s corner. Last night she was in the spotlight again.
Unlike Boris Johnson, she has appears to relish these high-profile encounters which can make or break election campaigns.
But one thing that has worked in her favour is that UK–wide programmes give her a chance to shine. That is because UK leaders rarely test her on her domestic record.
So last night’s STV debate was the chance for her Scottish opponents to change that. Ms Sturgeon found herself facing her Holyrood opponents who have a far more intimate knowledge of her government’s shortcomings on health and education.
Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw posed some very serious questions about the deaths of children at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Also in his charge sheet against the Scottish Government were the delays to Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh and yesterday’s PISA study showing declining maths and science performance. These are important questions for the public, the first minister and an SNP which has now been in power since 2007.
The exchanges may have degenerated into demands for an apology and suggestions that she ought to be “ashamed” of her own record, but this was a far less comfortable experience for Ms Sturgeon than previous televised encounters.