The First Minister is trying to keep everyone happy on the big question mark hanging over Scotland’s future – but might instead end up frustrating all quarters.

Ms Sturgeon has found herself in a tricky position when it comes to independence.

Her preferred strategy depends on Boris Johnson giving her plans for a repeat of the 2014 referendum the thumbs up – an unlikely prospect, even without a pandemic causing havoc across the planet.

The PM might also be keen to call an early general election at Westminster in 2023, setting up a potential clash with the SNP's timetable.

Signalling a vote to take place while Covid is still very much a priority will not play well with voters. Move too slow and some within her party will demand more urgency.

Opponents have unsurprisingly jumped on the First Minister’s declaration that “Covid permitting”, the campaign for independence will restart in the spring – with Douglas Ross calling it “a disgrace” that the move was announced as the pandemic potentially turned another worrying corner.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: SNP's independence drive to restart in the spring to hold 2023 referendum

In truth, the First Minister’s conference speech did not signal a change of tact or date in bringing forward plans for an independence vote. We can only assume that to "initiate the process necessary" to start the process for another poll will be a Holyrood bill that we have known is in the pipeline.

No-one is denying that the case for Scottish independence needs redrawing – not least following Brexit and the financial case in desperate need of a re-think in light of the climate crisis.

But in September, the First Minister instructed civil servants to begin work on setting out the updated case in favour of Scotland going it alone.

Now the SNP is officially signalling its intent to put a refreshed case for independence to the public. But whether that case will ever make it to the voters remains to be seen.