There has been a seismic shift in the political landscape of the UK. From the fall of the so-called ‘red wall’, massive gains in seats for the Conservatives and big changes in Northern Ireland, election night was full of big moments.
Out of all parts of the Union, however, the biggest moments came from Scotland and the landslide of the SNP.
The party has been on a rollercoaster since the 2014 Independence Referendum including the highs of the 2015 General Election to the lows of the 2016 Brexit Referendum and losses of the 2017 General Election.
But in the European elections and now this general election, Scotland has given its full backing to the SNP and has shown that Scotland’s voice can no longer be ignored.
Towards the end of the 2014 referendum on independence, Scotland was showered with a campaign of love by the big three parties of Westminster and their former leaders: David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.
Promises were made of more powers, federalism, devo-max and a partnership in the successful company that they call the United Kingdom. And what came of this? Nothing!
The Smith Commission lead to very few powers and Scottish MPs were restricted in their voting rights by the introduction of EVEL. Worse came with the 2016 EU Referendum which has seen Scotland dragged out of the EU against its will.
Scotland has been ignored as an “equal” in the UK and it is no surprise that the SNP has been leading the fightback against Brexit, representing Scotland at Westminster and fighting for the right for Scotland to choose its own future.
There has been strong material change, the UK is a different place now to how it was in 2014. The election night we have just experienced is evidence of this, as have been the past 5 years.
Even with the other parties arguing that they will protect the union, it’s clear that they have been rejected by the Scottish electorate who have defiantly made a clear choice.
The SNP have gained an additional 13 seats. The biggest of which was the result from Dunbartonshire East with Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Leader and staunch unionist, losing her seat to Amy Callaghan, a fresh new face of the SNP.
Labour and the Conservatives, with massive campaign pushes, have lost a large number of seats to the SNP. Former MPs from the 2015 SNP landslide have returned alongside current and new MPS to represent Scotland in Westminster.
Even the most high-ranking MPs within the Westminster system are not safe from the Scottish electorate.
The Conservatives in Scotland have lost, Labour in Scotland has lost, the Lib Dems in Scotland have lost and unionism in Scotland has lost!
It is clear now that Scotland has made a statement, one which Boris Johnson, his government and Westminster cannot ignore. Scotland wants change, an alternative to the current system, more power for the Scottish Government and the right to choose its own future.
Boris Johnson says he will deny Scotland’s choice and he will most likely deny any opportunity for more powers or change desired by Scotland.
It is foolish for him to deny this change, and even with a majority, life will not be made easy for him by the large group of SNP MPs in parliament. Scotland has opted for change and the right to choose and with hope, and this should be respected.