What a night – and not the best for Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister had asked for a personal mandate in what has been a blatantly presidential SNP campaign.

Instead of the trouncing of all comers she had hoped for and was widely expected, her party looks like finishing short of an overall majority; with the First Minister leading a minority or coalition administration and having no choice but to drop the dreadfully damaging Named Person excursion.

This is a massive jolt to the SNP’s sense of its invincibility – and, frankly, to its arrogance.

While the SNP cleared Labour out of Glasgow, taking all nine of the city’s seats, it lost constituency seats to the Scottish Conservatives and to the Liberal Democrats,

The Scottish Conservatives were the story of the night – substantially improving their vote across the board, seeing their leader, Ruth Davidson, take the constituency seat of Edinburgh Central from the SNP and predicted to finish with a record 31 seats, in second place as the formal opposition.

The Liberal Democrats are clearly in revival mode. laying down a new robustness in short order at the start of the night – retaining both their Orkney and Shetland seats with substantial increases in their vote and massively disappointing the transparent SNP expectations of both seats. They went on to see their leader, Willie Rennie take the constituency  seat of NE Fife and a colleague take an Edinburgh. constituency seat. They finished on the status quo – with 5 seats .

It was, as predicted, a bad night for Scottish Labour who paid the price of flip-flopping on indy and just about everything else. They lost 13 seats, their foothold in their former stronghold of Glasgow and saw Kezia Dugdale the sole major party leader not to win a constituency sea – and they have indeed been roundly overtaken by the Scottish Conservatives who have 31 seats to Labour’s 24.

The Scottish Greens took 6 seats pushing the Liberal Deocrats into fifth place on 5 seats.

Parliamentary committees at Holyrood will no longer be able to be the frightful SNP patsy affairs they shamefully have been.

The massive error of Named Person state guardianship is dead in the water. And a second indyef will not be attempted in this term.

Scottish politics suddenly got really interesting.

Note: The details of the night’s development are in our Election Night Live piece here.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • I wonder if the Labour cabal that runs Glasgow city council might now look in the mirror and consider whether – quite apart from public enthusiasm for nationalism / separatism – their reputation for pork-barrel sleaze might just be influencing the popularity of, and doing great damage to, their party?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

    Robert Wakeham May 6, 2016 9:16 am Reply
  • I remember being told on here by certain individuals that the Tories were an ‘irrelevance’. Sturgeon and her cronies have also pushed that line a lot – no longer. The SNP obsession and hatred of Labour (which is fairness, was reciprocated) showed the arrogance of the SNP in assuming the Scottish Conservatives had no credible policies – they did, people listened and made up their own minds.

    The next session of parliament is going to be more interesting and democratic.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 36 Thumb down 4

    JB May 6, 2016 9:57 am Reply
  • NEVERENDUM will remain just that ie it won’t happen in this parliament.

    The combined vote for ‘pro’ IndyRef(2) parties was below 50%

    Swinney has conceded NO IndyRef(2) with his statement:-

    “We have to earn the right to call a referendum. There has to be a clear, consistent and demonstrable majority support for one. That doesn’t exist today”

    Nicola S, and the SNP, are now between a rock and a hard place. SNP militants may attempt to force IndyRef(2) irrespective of the fact there is no permutation at Holyrood to create a SNP lead coalition, to approve the required Scottish Parliamentary legislation to hold an IndyRef(2).

    Instead of the ‘win-win’ result SNP zealots anticipated, it is a ‘lose-lose’ result for the SNP.

    Howver Nicola S may have got the result she personally wanted ie no mandate for Indy Ref(2) , which perversely may be the saviour of the SNP .

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 5

    Scotnat May 6, 2016 10:17 am Reply
  • Where are all the loud mouthed ‘gnats’ this morning ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

    Malcolm Kirk May 6, 2016 11:15 am Reply
    • possibly cleaning the used tissues and pop corn from their pleasure caves (polite term)

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

      sokay May 6, 2016 11:42 am Reply
    • Where indeed. I thought they’d be out in force telling us the yoon was over etc etc etc. Nice to see you back btw.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

      JB May 6, 2016 1:58 pm Reply
  • I can’t see the SNP getting another chance at Indy. They will try desperately to leverge the EU vote, ut somehow I don’t think the UK will vote to leave.

    Ruth Davidson only has to keep doing what she does, keep her promise to hold the SNP to account and develop strong policy alternatives to maintain or increase her partys position. The SNP have 5 years in which they need to prove they are the party of the less well off – given their record, I can’t see that happening. Kezia Dugdales party is filling that void, despite the poor showing. In 5 years, disillusioned SNP voters will return to Labour, the Tory support will be maintained and SNP inevitably be forced into a coallition. But one thing is certain – they have missed their chance at independence now. It’s simply not going to happen. And thank the lord for that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

    JB May 6, 2016 12:24 pm Reply
  • Have you seen the 45,s on face book they are running around like headless chickens. One has even suggested to split away from south Scotland . It must be tough to see your life,s ambition disappear overnight. I suspect the pledge to push for Indy 2 in the summer will now be quietly dropped. Hopefully the parliament will now get down to running the country.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 4

    Plugit May 6, 2016 12:33 pm Reply
  • Greens and SNP = MORE SEATS AND MORE VOTES and are pro indy.

    Lets watch the tory ukippys fight themselves in a few weeks in engerlund. Whatever the result there will be fallout.

    labour and tories got roughly the same votes in Scotland incidentally.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 26

    No Cheese Here May 6, 2016 2:57 pm Reply
    • You are betraying the weakness of the ‘gnats’ position with trying to divert comment elsewhere. The decline and fall of the SNP has begun.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

      Malcolm Kirk May 6, 2016 3:20 pm Reply
      • Please, don’t insult gnats.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

        Robert Wakeham May 6, 2016 5:57 pm Reply
      • If the decline and fall of the SNP has begun as you say, it is not evidenced by the election results.
        In the Constituencies the SNP vote went up by by 1.1% from 2011
        This translated into 6 additional seats.

        In the Regions the SNP vote dropped by 2.3%.
        In the Regions the Green vote increased by an almost identical 2.2%

        Given the increase in the number of SNP voters and the increase in seats won in the Constituencies it’s hardly surprising that the D’Hont corrective kicked in, as it was designed to, to compensate the lesser parties with List seats.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

        jake May 7, 2016 2:17 am Reply
        • With the surge in support after Indyref 1 and the General Election result I think most commentators would have predicted the SNP to have been in a much stronger position after these elections. I certainly did. However they netted six fewer seats and lost their overall majority. A 1.1% increase on the 2011 result is a pretty poor showing considering the previous 2 votes. They even lost two seats to the Tories. Whilst Ms Sturgeon may describe that as an emphatic win it can hardly be described as the raging success the SNP and their supporters hoped.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

          keith stanger May 7, 2016 10:54 am Reply
          • A valid point about the SNP losing to the Conservatives in Edinburgh Central and Abedeenshire West. My congratultions to both Alexander Burnett and Ruth Davidson; it’s the first time either of of them have been elected to serve a constituency so I wish them well. I think it adds credibility to a Party leader to be endorsed by a constituency electorate and I’m sure Ruth Davidson will be happier in her role as Party leader with that. She wasn’t particularly popular in Glasgow, either with the electorate or Glasgow Conservative constituency associations, and of course there was some controversy about her election as Party leader and the interventions of the outed spook and establishment minder Fulton in facilitating her place at the top of the Glasgow List. Still, an out-of-court settlement with a confidentiality clause made sure that sorry business (nearly) went away. I’m sure Ms Davidson will be happier and more effective working out of Edinburgh. Sour grapes is all I can say about those who attribute her win in Edinburgh Central to a vote splitting vanity candidate from the Greens. She won fair and square by all accounts, and did so this time without getting over-excited on late night telly and implicating herself in possible postal voting irregularity controversy.
            I’ve been away from the N E of Scotland for some time, so I hesitate to speculate on the appeal of Alexander Burnett to the worthies of Royal Deeside, although it’s worth noting that unusually for this election the Conservatives got their increased support at the expense of ALL the other parties, SNP, LibDem and Labour and it was emphatically on the constituency vote. I’m sure his local roots played a part.
            Nice to see then that his ancient and noble hertitage still carries some weight in local selection decisions. His posh & Eton don’t play well in some circles particularly those charged with marketing the Scottish Conservatives without mentioning the word Conservative never mind Tory and its associations with the patrician, the aristrocratic and old fashioned landed gentry. Still, the Burnetts have a track record in contributing to the governance of Scotland ( indeed Europe and beyond) that stretches back to the crusades , so if Deessiders reckon he’s their man…sod the spin-meisters and media-savvy hipsters and good luck to them.

            More generally though, can you really paint the SNP performance as anything less than an emphatic win?
            They broke a series of records by winning the Holyrood vote for a 3rd consecutive time and did so with an increased vote ( albeit just 1,1%), reaching an unprecedented 46,5% or almost 1,06 million people. In fact, they received more support than Conservatives and Labour together. Furthermore, they won a record 59 constituency seats and scored victories in 6 out of 7 Scottish cities, including all 8 seats in Glasgow.
            In my book that’s a pretty emphatic win and I don’t care what deluded optimists in the SNP think, or for that matter what their detractors think either.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

            jake May 8, 2016 3:18 am
    • No cheese I realise that maths are not your strong point but the fact remains that 46% voted for SNP and 54% voted for other parties which of course includes the greens. However 1.8 million people did not vote which means that 25% of the electorate voted for the SNP . So you can spin it any way you like but the fact remains you are stuffed

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

      Plugit May 6, 2016 3:45 pm Reply
      • It’s not Maths, the 46% of the electorate that you quote voted SNP in the Constituency vote and won the SNP 81%, 59 of the Constituency seats (59). The other 54% of the electorate were split between the other parties, so only won 14 seats between them.
        The people that don’t vote don’t come into it, at least not since Labours 1979 heist.
        In a referendum there are only two choices normally so you may have it wrong that NCH, or anyone else, is stuffed.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 20

        Murdoch MacKenzie May 6, 2016 6:59 pm Reply
        • You guys really struggle with figures when it comes to attempting to spin for the SNP.
          Even if it was a referendum it would still of been No based on voting numbers. Why else would the SNP leadership acknowledge the case for independence hasn’t been made with the electorate and are now parking it for the next term.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

          John M May 6, 2016 8:18 pm Reply
          • JOHN M,if the newly elected haven’t got the message I’m sure the media will remind them, the blame game is over, Scotland has the devolved powers and Swinney knows what we will receive through the Barnett formula.
            Now all Scottish politicians need to make this government work, unless the Scottish economy grows revenue to Holyrood will fall and we will see tougher cuts than in rUK.
            This is the last chance for the SNP as in their own words this is unprecedented three terms in power, now the electorate are demanding proper government and stop trying to satisfy all.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

            Richard May 6, 2016 9:22 pm
        • Murdoch I think the point I was making , the country is sick to death of this continuous threat to have a referendum. We need to move on there are so many problems with the health service economy etc . How can business plan for the future and create more jobs if they never know what currency will be used. So why can we not drop all this talk about Indy and get on with day to day matters.
          You never know it might even increase the popularity of the SNP

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

          Plugit May 6, 2016 9:32 pm Reply
          • Plugit, you are wrong when you say that “the country is sick to death of this continuous threat to have a referendum”. It’s true that Unionists are but around half of the people want to have Independence. A lot of people feel that they were cheated in the previous referendum and are determined to prevail.
            The SNP try to keep many balls in the air at the same time, but they have to keep the referendum ideal simmering away, ready for an opportunity to spring it when the conditions are right and when they have gathered sufficient support to win convincingly irrespective of others actions to prevent it.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

            Murdoch MacKenzie May 8, 2016 10:20 am
  • I’ve got few complaints about the results. The SNP have got sufficient of a mandate to get on with the job, and the others sufficient of a mandate to be an effective but constructive opposition … should they so decide.
    The electoral system is designed to give minority parties ( such as the Scottish Conservatives ) a reasonable representation, whereas under FPTP ( as favoured by both the Labour and Conservative parties at Westminster ) neither of these would have many seats at Holyrood today. Perhaps Ms Davidson could have a word about this with her colleagues down south.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Arthur Blue May 7, 2016 9:46 pm Reply
  • Murdoch you are making a big assumption that all SNP supporters want independance I suspect a number like the fact that they run Scotland but still want the connection with the rest of the U.K. And you must agree that all this uncertainty is not good for our national businesses

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Plugit May 8, 2016 12:48 pm Reply
    • MM is making another big assumption in saying that “A lot of people feel that they were cheated in the previous referendum”. This is yet another pathetic person refusing to accept a democratic vote in which only 37% of the electorate favoured independence and 63% didn’t. For heaven’s sake, get used to it!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      alex McKay May 8, 2016 2:33 pm Reply
      • Quite.
        I didn’t get what I wanted … therefore I was cheated.
        Not very grown up, is it?
        When a young relative of mine was small and found that he’d been fairly beaten at some board game he used to say, wistfully: “I WISH I’d won!”.
        Sorry, son, but you didn’t.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

        ClootieDumpling May 8, 2016 3:27 pm Reply
      • Alex, people seem to ignore the 44% who didn’t vote, I suggest that Indyref 2 isn’t on their agenda.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Richard May 8, 2016 3:50 pm Reply
      • What referendum are you talking about? The only one I remember was split 45%/55%. You cannot allocate non-voters to either side, some of them don’t care about voting and some others are unable to vote due to work commitments or other unplanned issues in their lives.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Murdoch MacKenzie May 8, 2016 8:00 pm Reply
        • But the *fact* remains, MM, that *only* 37% of those on the electoral register supported the Yes vote. You can wriggle all you like about why some people didn’t, or couldn’t, vote, but you can’t deny the 37% figure, though, knowing you, you will carry on whinging about it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

          alex McKay May 8, 2016 8:47 pm Reply
  • I wonder where the SNP would be if only UK residents born in Scotland were aloud to vote in any future Referendum. Several of the loudest supporters for separation I know of were most certainly not born here, or indeed did they spend there formative years here. Why should they be aloud to bring their bitterness for their home country North, and inflict it on us ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Malcolm Kirk May 8, 2016 3:39 pm Reply
    • Spot the error”allowed”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Malcolm Kirk May 8, 2016 4:56 pm Reply

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