Ruth Davidson dismisses Scottish Tories breakaway claim

Scotland's leader Nicola Sturgeon on Friday promised to "reflect" on major losses for her Scottish National Party in Britain's general election, admitting the poor performance was in part down to her independence plans.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said her new MPs will be firm opponents of a second independence referendum.

"There is clearly uncertainty around Brexit and independence which clearly will be factor in tonight's results", she said.

"I think it's very clear that any plan Nicola Sturgeon had for a second independence referendum has to disappear as a result of this election". 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. While the the SNP won almost all available seats in 2015, this was largely because the pro-independence vote rallied behind one party, whereas the Unionist vote was split three ways between Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

And indeed it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Labour will win back some seats in Scotland - even if, as expected, our vote share drops.

One is the extent to which the Scottish Conservatives have gained - moving from one MP to 13 - alongside the relative successes for Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Scotland's first minister Sturgeon said she would not make any "rash decisions" but pledged to "properly think about" whether to press ahead with her campaign for another separation vote, as the Tories celebrated their best result in Scotland since the 1983 election.

Asked if there was a role for the SNP in a future government, Ms Sturgeon said: "There may well be, but it is perhaps too early to say that". In a year in Holyrood they managed to pass no legislation, except for that which they are legally mandated to do.


Sturgeon said she would now seek an alliance with like-minded parties to try to keep the Conservatives out of government and to keep both Scotland and the United Kingdom within the single European market as part of the Brexit talks.

Ms Davidson said: "SNP MPs who last night lost their seats have paid the price for what was a massive political miscalculation on Nicola Sturgeon's part".

"She arrogantly thought that all she had to do in this campaign was say "strong and stable" over and over again, and that she would steamroller everyone aside, crush the opposition and cruise to a landslide victory. I'm afraid that's not enough".

"Folk might remember I fought a leadership election on the other side of that particular argument", she added.

The Scottish group is larger than the DUP, the party Theresa May is seeking support from to form a government.

Reflecting on the overall British results, Davidson said her Conservative Party needed to take account of their losses: "It is incumbent on us to listen to other parties in Parliament, and people outside it, about the best way forward".

Pete Wishart, who was the chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee in the last parliament, held on to his Perth and North Perthshire seat by just 21 votes, with Tory MEP Ian Duncan coming close to ousting him.

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