Scottish Daily Mail

Agonising wait to see if SNP’s kept in check


SCOTLAND remains in limbo as votecounti­ng continues – but it is clear the SNP is on course for victory.

Voters recognised how important this contest is for the nation’s future and turned out in record numbers.

We don’t yet know what this means for the SNP’s hopes of securing a majority – its springboar­d for a second referendum bid.

But it is inevitable that – whatever happens – it will ramp up its calls for another divisive poll.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has enjoyed a sensationa­l week, with the Tories destroying Labour in the hartlepool by-election and in the English council elections.

Once again, he has defied the odds to clinch historic victories.

In all likelihood, the stage is set for yet another showdown between the Prime Minister and Nicola Sturgeon.

Laudably, the PM has steadfastl­y refused to countenanc­e a rerun of the 2014 poll, when 55 per cent of the electorate voted against independen­ce.

There is no doubt that Mr Johnson’s hand will have been strengthen­ed by his party’s strong performanc­e south of the Border.

he must not falter in his rejection of any prospect of fresh constituti­onal wrangling.

And the opposition parties at holyrood must work harder to hold the SNP to account, whether or not it achieves a majority.

By the end of the next parliament­ary term, it will have been in office for nearly 20 years. It cannot be allowed to continue its long record of failure and botched reform.

The agonising wait for definitive results continues, but the full picture should emerge today.

And soon we will know to what extent tactical voting has paid dividends – and whether it has helped to turn the tide against separatism.

For now, unionists can only hope that their efforts have paid off – and that the SNP is thwarted in its battle to tear Scotland out of the UK.

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