NICOLA Sturgeon is the only UK politician to enjoy a positive approval rating in Scotland, according to a new poll, while it found Theresa May’s unpopularity was highest among Scots.

However, when voters were asked across the whole of the UK, who would make the best prime minister, Mrs May came out with a 37-point lead over her Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn; 55 points to 18.

The survey, funded by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative donor and business tycoon, also found high support across the UK for German Chancellor Angela Merkel – the highest mean rating of 50.1 per cent was in Scotland – and low support for US President Donald Trump – the lowest mean rating of 20.1 per cent was also found in Scotland.

The poll, taken between March 21 and 28, involved 10,153 people across the UK and 906 in Scotland, ranking individual politicians on a score from 0 to 100, where zero meant terrible and 100 meant excellent.

In Scotland, the First Minister polled the highest with 53 per cent scoring her with 51 or more and 42 per cent scoring her 50 or less, giving her a net poll rating of +11.

Other net ratings were: Ruth Davidson on 33/54, -21; Mrs May 35/58, - 23; Kezia Dugdale 20/61, -41; Tim Farron 12/54, -42; Mr Corbyn 20/71, -51 and Ukip’s Paul Nuttall 7/63, - 56.

In terms of mean scores of support, again Ms Sturgeon came out on top in Scotland, polling 52.9 per cent. Ms Davidson scored 40.5, Mrs May 39.8, Ms Dugdale 31.9, Mr Corbyn 29.8, Mr Farron 27.1 and Mr Nuttall 13.3.

However, across the UK as a whole, the PM came out on top with a mean score of 53.9 compared to Ms Davidson on 38.1, Ms Sturgeon on 32.2, Mr Corbyn on 29.2, Mr Farron on 28.6, Ms Dugdale on 27.2 and Mr Nuttall on 19.5.

In relation to where Mrs May receives her strongest support, the poll suggested this was in south-east England with a mean score of 58.7, while her weakness was in Scotland with one of 39.7.

As for Ms Sturgeon, her strongest support was in Scotland on 52.9 while her weakest was in north-east England with 27.2.

In March, a Sky News poll of 2,000 people in Scotland, asked how well senior politicians were performing and placed Mrs May on 48 points, six points ahead of Ms Sturgeon on 42. Ms Davidson polled even higher with a score of 53 points while Mr Corbyn received approval by just 16 per cent of respondents.

Commenting on the latest Ashcroft survey, George Adam, the SNP MSP, said: "This is an encouraging poll that once again shows that people trust the strong leadership of Nicola Sturgeon while all of the most senior Tories remain deeply unpopular in Scotland.

"Embarrassingly, they also find themselves trailing behind a politician that isn't even from the UK.

"People are now seeing the real Ruth Davidson who has completely sold out over our single market membership, despite saying it was her 'overriding priority'.

"It's no surprise that an outright majority of people in Scotland disapprove of born-again Brexiteer Ruth Davidson's job performance and the news is no better for senior Westminster Tories, who are overwhelmingly viewed negatively," he added.

In Scotland, the Ashcroft poll gave David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, an approval rating of -37, Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, one of -44, and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, one of -52. Across the UK, the respective figures were -21, -31 and -27.