Extraordinary results for the Conservatives in Scotland, where the party – under Ruth Davidson’s leadership rather than Theresa May’s – is doing extraordinary well taking 13 seats. Alex Salmond, former Scottish First Minister, has just lost to to a Conservative in Gordon. So has Angus Robertson who is the SNP leader in Westminster. Overall, the expectations are that the SNP will lose 20 of their 59 seats – the unionists had hoped to deprive them of ten at most, and would have settled for five.
Amongst the many sentences I never thought I would type, I can add this: Scotland seems to is the only bright spot for the Tories, so bright that Scotland might well end up imposing a Tory government upon England. The great Scottish Conservative comeback is underway. The quality of debate (and leaders) in Scotland has been vastly superior to the lack-of-talent contest laid on by Westminster. Ruth Davidson relishes debate, is an unashamed conservative and has reenergised her party to an extraordinary degree.
When I was up in Moray last week, all parties there said that one question dominated: the prospect of the SNP’s second referendum. The Tories and Labour both said it dominated 80pc of conversations on the doorsteps. If people didn’t want a new referendum they’d go for the party most likely to stop it – and in a great many places, that party was the Tories. In the 1950s there was no Scottish Conservative party; they were called the Unionist Party. That referred to Ireland. Thanks to Ruth Davidson it has become the unionist party once again – and done enough to push the SNP into reverse. Nicola Sturgeon’s second referendum looks a lot less likely.
The SNP’s Pete Wishart clung on to his Perthshire seat with just 21 votes, which is not quite what he was expecting.
SNP Losses to Conservatives:
Moray, Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Aberdeen South, Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, Angus, Ochil and South Perthshire, Stirling, East Renfrewshire, Ayr Carrick and Cumnock, Dumfries and Galloway, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.
SNP losses to Labour
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Glasgow North East, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Edinburgh South, Midlothian, East Lothian.
SNP losses to Liberal Democrats: 3 losses
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Dumbartonshire East (Jo Swinson) Edinburgh West.