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SNP were winners of election in Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at Bute House, Edinburgh.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at Bute House, Edinburgh.

Sir, – There has been much attention paid to the fall in the number of SNP MPs from 56 to 35, seen as disaster for the party. However, let us put this into some perspective in the cool light of day.

The SNP still won more seats in Scotland than all other parties combined, obtained the largest number of votes and delivered the second best result ever for the party.

Before the electoral tsunami of 2015, the largest number of SNP MPs was 11 and going into the election two years ago the party had just six.

Yes, a number of big beasts, primarily Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson lost their seats and will be a massive loss.

However, it was always going to be difficult to get anywhere close to the 2015 general election result, which was a once in a generation outcome.

The SNP, it should be noted, still form the third largest party at Westminster.

The Tories, who stood on a sole platform of opposition to a second independence referendum lost the election in Scotland and lost their majority in the UK.

Indeed, the SNP have more than double the number of Scottish seats than the Tories, who have been heavily defeated.

Instead of strength and stability, the Tories now seem headed for an extended period of infighting, with Brexit negotiations set to begin in just 10 days.

Both the Scottish and UK results show a massive rejection of Tory austerity and an extreme Brexit.

This result – combined with the hung parliament – makes Scotland’s influence pivotal at Westminster.

Alex Orr.
77 Leamington Terrace,


Heading for broken Britain

Sir, – Once Ruth Davidson’s Tories stop celebrating giving the SNP a bloody nose, they might consider the consequences of their mendacious campaign.

They, Labour and the Lib Dems, remorselessly pushed the untruth that this election was about a second referendum and independence.

The UK goes into the Brexit negotiations even weaker.

The result will be serious economic decline, and social unrest as the NHS and the poor – and there’s a word to shame Britain – get the short end of the stick.

The SNP retains its integrity in a way these other parties cannot and will bounce back as the implications of (an even more) broken Britain sink in.

David Roche.
6 Conachar Court,


Ruth must tread with great care

Sir, – Ruth Davidson has clarified that the Scottish Tories won’t split from the main UK party but does her EU position, in any case, distance her from Theresa May?

The possibility of an autumn election means Ms Davidson can’t risk losing ground. If Nicola Sturgeon finds a face-saving way to retreat temporarily from a second referendum, Ms Davidson will need more than anti-independence on which to campaign.

Does Mrs May’s preference for a hard Brexit makes her increasingly toxic?

Ms Davidson apparently supports single-market access and doesn’t share Mrs May’s anti-immigration stance. While the Scottish Tory leader’s open or softer Brexit views chime well with many here, Ms Davidson will have attracted many euro-sceptic votes last week.

Ms Davidson must remain principled. However, if she uses her 13 Westminster votes to pressurise Downing Street into pursuing a softer Brexit, she should tread carefully.

Without a special fisheries deal, such a stance will lose her support, particularly in north-east Scotland where she holds several seats which, with a resurgent Labour Party, may be difficult to replace elsewhere.

The Scottish Tory leader may well distance herself from a perhaps fatally-wounded Mrs May but Ms Davidson holding an EU position deemed credible by the majority of Scots will be crucial to the Scottish Conservatives’ long-term survival.

Martin Redfern.
Merchiston Gardens,


Test of SNP’s social values

Sir, – If there is another general election this year I doubt it will be at the insistence of a Conservative Prime Minister seeking a stronger Brexit mandate. More likely it will be due to the collapse of the DUP deal and the enthusiasm of a resurgent Labour Party.

Its force could come from Scotland in the shape of another tranche of Scottish Labour seats.

Last week the SNP held 20 seats with a majority of around 5%.

Labour was second in 12 of them, Conservative in seven and the Lib Dems in one.

This could mean that, if the anti-SNP tactical voting surge got its second wind , the SNP would have 15 seats, Conservative 20, Labour 19 and the Lib Dems five.

In another hung parliament, the SNP could be part of a Scottish group of 39 Labour, Lib Dem and SNP MPs joining a progressive alliance led by Jeremy Corbyn but, after such a disastrous performance, with no mandate to make a second referendum the price for their support.

This would be a true rebalancing of Scottish politics, one which better reflected the true levels of support across the parties. And it might expose just how genuine the SNP’s socialism is.

Allan Sutherland.
1 Willow Row,


Candidates of great quality

Sir, – Now that the shouting has died down, for the meantime anyway, this is to make a non party-political point.

At the hustings in St Andrews’ Byre Theatre, I was impressed by the calibre of all the five north-east Fife candidates. They were all clearly of high quality and principle.

I agreed with at least some of what each one said and the way they said it.

Above all I appreciated that they were prepared to stand up and offer themselves for a very onerous, and in many ways unrewarding, job.

An MP’s remuneration is not excessive given the responsibilities involved, the skills required and the very long, unsociable hours.

The vast majority are honest and caring; of course there are a few bad apples but no more than in any other profession, despite the extraordinary pressures and temptations.

Sadly, the public as a whole does not appreciate this, and is encouraged by much of the media. An easy jibe is more newsworthy than careful assessment.

That said, The Courier’s coverage of the election has been exemplary.

Anthony Garrett.
1 Royal Terrace,


Youth voted in ignorance

Sir, – Here we go again. The young and innocent start to vote for Labour, blissfully unaware of how their last two governments brought Britain to the brink of bankruptcy. And guess who will have to retrieve the situation?

Malcolm Parkin.
Gamekeepers Road,