by Colin Campbell
SO much for the “supermajority”.
So much for “the settled will of the people”.
So much for the “mass street protests”.
The empty threats that the nationalists have been regaling us with in recent months look pretty worthless now.
In their triumphalism and arrogance they set themselves up for a heavy fall and they’ve come crashing down now.
The SNP won the election but failed to win a majority, far less their much hyped “supermajority”, so they’ll have to bow and scrape to the lickspittle Greens for support in the next parliament.
They won less half the vote on a 70 per cent turnout, which means only about a third of those eligible to vote backed them.
More people voted for pro-Union parties than for those backing independence.
That pro-independence “settled will of the people” they’ve been boasting about in recent months doesn’t look so settled now.
Alex Salmond’s extremist “mass street protest” Alba Party got nowhere which wipes out the prospect of civil disruption when Boris Johnson says no to another referendum.
And the most recent polls have shown support for independence is down to the low 40s in percentage, lagging several points behind support for remaining in the UK.
Of course there was an excess of SNP euphoria and jubilation choreographed by Central Command to try and give the impression that their success was overwhelming.
As everyone knows, when it comes to acting, lying and deceiving, they’re second to none.
But they’re fooling no-one by claiming this result was what they wanted.
To add to their problems, Johnson increased his huge UK majority with a stunning victory in the Hartlepool by-election, a Labour seat for decades, which sees him riding on the crest of a wave, a successful Prime Minister who will not be pushed around by anyone, and certainly not by threats from Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
For those who backed pro-Union parties the worst aspect of the election outcome is that the SNP will have another term in office to screw up the delivery of health, education and other key public services even further.
And there will be considerable regret that the futile independence clamour is set to continue, probably at a heightened volume. That is a rather wearisome prospect, no question.
But noise is all it will be – claims about a denial of democracy and a fake referendum mandate they certainly don’t have.
There will be a lot of rooftop shouting about that and it will be difficult to avoid.
But they still won’t get their referendum, as the PM yesterday again made crystal clear.
Will the nats really not change the record in their claims that this will be “untenable” and “unsustainable”?
And the answer is, probably not. As endless whining and wishful thinking is all they’ve got.
Before the vote we said the outcome of the election wouldn’t advance the nationalists independence cause by one yard. After the outcome it looks like it won’t advance it by as much as an inch.
Sturgeon and the rest of them can protest and grievance-monger till they’re blue in the face but other than that they just don’t know what to do when they’re refused permission for a legal referendum.
Humza Yousaf boldly told Boris Johnson yesterday “we’ll see you in court”, a challenge normally issued by someone confident of victory.
But his bravado was just that, bravado, because they will lose any referendum court challenge as a matter of certainty.
And if Sturgeon reneges on her threat to hold a worthless and futile illegal or wildcat referendum which would be boycotted by more than half the population, what’s left?
Not a lot. Except five more years of Sturgeon and the SNP haplessly running the country, although I very much doubt if she’ll see out her full term.
And some time in the future they can have another go, led perhaps by dullards like Angus Robertson or Joanna Cherry.
There will be more of the same hollow triumphalism from the SNP nationalists in the days ahead.
But we’ll have heard it, word for word, all before.
I intend to switch off from it, and leave them to obsess over the referendum they have no chance whatever of getting.
Having had a bellyful of it in recent months, I imagine many other people will do the same, in the knowledge that the electoral verdict has been delivered, and the Union is safe.