Let's backtrack to the Britain-wide fall out of the Brexit vote. For some time, we've noted how in England the losing side has acquired a political dynamic of its own. The Liberal Democrats - the party most associated with staying in the EU - are surging in council by-elections and piling on the members. They sailed past the 100,000 figure this week and look set to bust through their all-time record. Had the referendum gone the other way, no doubt Leave would be pulling in and motivating a layer of voters. Rather than getting a battering in Stoke, UKIP may well have taken the seat and it could have been them surging in local contests, instead of dwindling away. Careful what you wish for indeed. We saw a similar dynamic unfold in Scotland after the independence referendum, and the blood price the SNP extracted for their defeat was the destruction of Scottish Labour.
Remain voters are energised and leave'ers are less so, the majority of the latter appearing to line up behind Theresa May. In Scotland, the shoe is on the other foot. With the utter dominance of politics by the SNP who, lest we forget, have been running the Scottish government for almost a decade, and are pushing another independence poll on the basis of the Brexit vote, the SNP is clearly the party of remain. It then begs the question where to go if you don't feel the nationalists speak for you on independence nor the EU? With Labour down for the count, it has to be Ruth Davidson's Tories. After all, they're not the Scottish establishment and, rape clause notwithstanding, Ruth is so personable and warm that the Tories can't be too bad.
With the cohering of the Leave/No vote around party lines, so the SNP could well lose seats to the Conservatives. A disaster for Scottish nationalism? Not in the slightest. While Sturgeon would rather not bid farewell to however many MPs, a viable Scottish Tory party suits her party's interests. They can be singled out as a warning against complacency, a visible enemy to overcome. And it allows her to burnish the SNP's social democratic creds regularly, strengthening the binds of irrelevance keeping Labour down. If you want a progressive alternative to what the Tories are doing at Westminster, Our Kez and friends aren't in a position to deliver it are they?
The looming problem the SNP have, however, is the danger they may have overplayed their independence hand. When all people hear is independence, 2nd referendum, independence, 2nd referendum, voters can get fed up. That leaves the SNP vulnerable once the shine starts to dull because their time in power has been less than stellar. Education inequality in Scotland is shocking, and the SNP appear powerless and clueless about what to do. That and other issues can leave them vulnerable to the Tories and their specious - but effective - rhetoric of one nationism and having plans for everything.
We will see if the results bear the polls out in the local elections, and then on June 8th.