Election 2017: Ruth Davidson kicks all the boxes

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader and ex-first minister of Scotland who was the driving force behind the country's first referendum in 2014, lost his seat while deputy leader Angus Robertson was also ejected from parliament.

The fact that most Scots don't seem to want independence (more Scots voted to stay in the United Kingdom in 2014 than in the European Union in 2016) has done nothing to halt the SNP's tireless - and undemocratic - campaign.

"There is clearly uncertainty around Brexit and independence which clearly will be factor in tonight's results - you know a lot of thinking for the SNP to do", she said.

Davidson led her party to its best result in Scotland for three decades, in contrast to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May's dismal showing elsewhere in the UK.

The SNP leader added: "It is an inescapable fact that we also suffered some bitterly disappointing losses last night". Her proposal was backed by many high-profile nationalists including Salmond and Roberston, who were both ousted from their seats.

The Scottish Tory leader leapt upon the accusation and claimed it as proof positive that the only party truly committed to the Union is hers.

The Liberal Democrats regained Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross with former MSP Jamie Stone taking the seat from the SNP's Paul Monaghan. The largest share of the vote for the Scottish Conservatives since 1979. But the end of the SNP's one party state might well be in sight - with the addition of hard-working Labour MPs as a result.

Davidson's job this week wasn't to win back Scotland from the SNP (although there are many who hope that she one day will).

1/5 Congratulations to all newly elected MPs.

"Now, we have to wait and see how things shake out".

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"She's done very well to get where she has, but I think there is a danger that we've gone beyond the strong image with the marshalling of the troops, to her becoming nearly a parody of herself with the tank-riding and bull-riding and flag-waving", a senior SNP lawmaker said.

Asked about the impact the result may have on her plan for a second independence referendum, she said she is "not going to take any rash decisions".

"What we've got is a crushing result for the SNP, they've lost 20 seats, if not more, and further than that they've watched their majorities crumble".

In one night the SNP lost 21 of the 56 seats it won in 2015 while the three pro-UK parties each inflicted shock defeats over Nicola Sturgeon's party.

The sentiment was also noted by CNN's Nic Robertson.

Other prominent nationalists who lost their seats were Mike Weir, who had represented Angus in the House of Commons since 2001, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, who lost the Ochil and South Perthshire seat to the Tories.

The fight for Scottish independence, that had seemingly been settled in the "once in a generation" referendum just six months previously, was now firmly back on the agenda.

The SNP wants Theresa May to rethink her Brexit strategy.

The general election result might delay the implementation of the decision a year ago calling for Britain to leave the European Union, but it could also affect the odds of another vote that was expected to still be ahead: a new referendum on whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom.

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