THE MORNING AFTER THE EXTRAORDINARY NIGHT BEFORE

She promised strong leadership, and delivered beyond her and the Tory party’s most optimistic expectations. Ruth Davidson’s election night in Scotland was in sharp contrast to that of her (current) boss in London. Not only that, but the 13 Scottish seats her party won are what might allow Theresa May to keep the keys to number 10. For now at least.Two of them belonged to the SNP’s biggest Westminster beasts; its Commons leader Angus Robertson, and former Party leader Alex Salmond. And their loss of 21 Commons seats means the Nationalists can no longer provide sufficient supporting firepower to take Corbyn’s Labour over the line.

Not the least of the 2017 ironies is that it isn’t the Corbyn/Sturgeon combo of fevered prediction which will determine the shape of things to come, but the relationship between the English and Scottish Tory leaders. And there are several issues, not least welfare changes, where they are not at one. Davidson confirmed on the stump she would keep the triple lock on pensions for instance.Equally unexpected was a more modest boost for Scottish Labour, up from 1 to 7, a result generally attributed to the Corbyn factor rather than Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale who opposed his election. And the Scottish Lib Dems too enjoyed a modest revival, former minister Jo Swinson winning back her seat from the high profile Nationalist John Nicholson.The battle lines drawn in Scotland were very different with the three opposition parties all nailing their colours to an anti Independence mast. One, now former, SNP MP, George Kerevan, was reduced to taking out an advert pleading that “this election is not about independence.” But it was for many voters, and an ebullient Ruth Davidson has already declared a second referendum dead in the water.

That may prove a premature judgement, given that the support for independence in the most recent polls has hardly shifted from the 45 per cent yes vote in 2014. But there’s no doubt that Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to call for a second vote played badly with a poll weary electorate; a call she might not have made had she known a snap general election was about to be sprung. She has gone home, as her national anthem has it, “to think again.”

 The SNP still won the election in Scotland with 35 out of the 59 seats – but it’s a victory which won’t feel that way with those 21 seats being lost. The SN{ might say, as they have, that the extraordinary 56 seat result of two years ago was a “once in a century ” event. They might point out, as they have, that 35 seats is almost 6 times as many as they picked up in the 2010 Westminster election; that Scots vote differently for Holyrood.

But the morning after this extraordinary night before, the party which swept all before it in 2015 is the one nursing most bruises.

*This verdict was written for The Guardian online.