The fall-out from the first televised SNP leadership debate reveals a shell-shocked party.
Some activists can scarcely believe what they saw on Tuesday night.
The opposition can barely conceal their glee.
Over an hour, Kate Forbes, Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan heavily criticised each other’s record, trashed parts of the government’s legacy – but asked voters to continue trusting them in office.
The mood is souring among some supporters who helped the candidates into power in the first place.
‘The whole of the nation is watching this’
While some defended the approach as robust democratic exchanges, others like Perthshire MP Pete Wishart sounded the alarm.
He told us: “The candidates need to be fully aware and conscious that the whole of the nation is watching this.
“To see examples of our government that we all worked so hard to make sure was elected being so publicly trashed is not a good look.
“People are talking about distancing themselves from distancing ourselves from our partnership agreement with the Greens. The party overwhelmingly backed that.”
He pointed to comments from candidate Ash Regan about an “independence readiness thermometer” as examples of debate going beyond credibility.
“We can’t stretch credibility with talk of voter empowerment mechanisms and readiness thermometers,” he added.
“Our political opponents didn’t even just have metaphorical popcorn, they were actually out with popcorn watching this.”
Mr Wishart said opponents will “lap this up” and turn it against them in future elections.
“We will have to be in a position where we can unite,” he added.
“Challenging ideas is good, but last night just went too far.”
The concern about political opponents was immediately backed by social media posts from delighted Labour and Tory campaigners playing the SNP attack lines on a loop.
Ms Forbes in particular skewered the health secretary’s record and suggested he wasn’t fit to hold that position.
Asked if he’d have a place in her government if she wins, Ms Forbes said yes, but “maybe not health”.
None of them agreed on a single independence campaign strategy nearly nine years since their referendum defeat.
Mhairi Hunter, a former councillor and close ally of Nicola Sturgeon, reacted with surprise at Ms Regan’s opening comment about her party losing its way.
“The SNP has lost its way is a strange opening statement about a party that has won every election since 2015,” she reflected on social media.
“But a comment that will be used against us multiple times.”
One councillor told us Ms Forbes had gone to far in attacking the serving health secretary.
“I think the honesty card – she’s burned that card, because she’s attacking a government she was defending just before she went on maternity leave,” the councillor said.
“Attacking a government you previously defended means you can’t claim that honesty card anymore.”
‘It went too far’
Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick said: “It is hard to toe that line between being forthright and having a debate that needs to be had, and steering into openly criticising each other.
“I did think last night, it went too far.
“For me, our record is one to be proud of. Nicola Sturgeon is still immensely popular, so as a campaign strategy, I don’t really understand attacking Nicola’s leadership, and I don’t think members are going to agree with it.
“Everything that’s happened in Humza’s tenure has been under Kate controlling where the money goes. I think that’s why it’s so important as a government you take that collective responsibility.
“It’s really odd actually as a backbencher watching this happen. I don’t know if folk know where the line is anymore.”