THE first FMQs since Nicola Sturgeon announced she will be standing down as First Minister was always going to be an interesting one.

It offered an insight into how opposition parties feel about the news – and who they expect to replace the current First Minister.

The Tories, Labour and Unionist commentators alike have spent the last week insisting that Nicola Sturgeon was a lame duck First Minister and her resignation was therefore not a surprise.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Douglas Ross 'sounding scared' of Humza Yousaf

Their analysis of her tenure casts her as a dud and a has-been - not a politician that still enjoys high approval ratings and has a 100% record of winning elections over the eight years she has served.

Anyway, considering the low opinion they claim to have of her, they do seem curiously relieved that she is going.

Conservative politicians haven’t looked this happy since the wine fridge was installed in Downing Street during lockdown.

For all the bluff and the bluster, they are glad Nicola Sturgeon will soon be on the backbenches. That much was clear during FMQs.

Douglas Ross could barely contain his excitement.

The National:

Throughout his questions about the NHS, he scattered many mentions of the SNP leadership contest.

Unsurprisingly, Humza Yousaf was the focus of much Douglas Ross’s attention. He’s the front runner in the SNP leadership contest as well as "the worst Health Secretary since devolution" – according to Mr Ross.

Nicola Sturgeon hit back, pointing out that Humza Yousaf is "the only Health Secretary anywhere in the UK that has managed to avoid a single day of strikes in the National Health Service over this period".

The pair then went through their familiar dance, for old times’ sake.

Nicola Sturgeon pointed out where Scotland’s NHS was performing better than other parts of the UK and Douglas Ross got really angry about it.

"Shameful!" he began. "Shameful is the only way you could describe that answer from the First Minister." He went on to speak about a patient in Ayrshire who had to wait in A+E for two and a half days.

"Accident and Emergency - the clue is in the name! They went there for emergency treatment, sat there for two and half days, and the First Minister’s answer to them is ‘well, it’s the best performing A+E in the United Kingdom!"

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By this point, Douglas Ross had worked himself into a bit of a frenzy.

So he decided to tell tales on Humza Yousaf to the First Minister: Who he said had "smiled and smirked" while Douglas Ross was speaking, which, in his mind, is proof that: "The Health Secretary thinks it’s FUNNY that people are waiting for days to be seen in A+E in Scotland."

By this point, Nicola Sturgeon must have been counting down the hours until she can watch this circus from the comfort of the backbenches with a sharebag of Doritos hidden under her desk.

The SNP leadership contest has only just got underway. We’ve got five more weeks of this to go. Strap in folks, because it looks like FMQs will be hijacked for the foreseeable future, as the Tories set their sights firmly on the man they believe will become the next First Minister of Scotland.