I don't know about the rest of you, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of days. It's been years and years since we last saw the anti-independence parties flailing about like this. Having tried and failed to get some purchase out of the optimistic line that the highest share of the vote anywhere in western Europe wasn't really good enough for the SNP, they're now attempting to convince us that the SNP's voters are all unionists who were blissfully unaware on polling day that they were voting for a pro-independence party, and are now profoundly shocked at the discovery that Nicola Sturgeon is planning an independence referendum.
Honestly. That's what they're saying. Don't believe me? Here's Exhibit A from the ever-reliable Alex Cole-Hamilton of the Lib Dems -
"Nicola Sturgeon will shortly betray pro-UK Remainers who lent SNP vote by presenting it as mandate for #indyref2"
(I've spared his blushes by tidying up the punctuation a bit.)
And Exhibit B from a Twitter troll called Patrick Branchfield -
"I don’t know if I’m more angry at @NicolaSturgeon for these lies or the plonkers who vote for her?
EVERY election she says a vote for them isn’t about independence, minutes after the polls close these votes are weapons for #indy2
Waken up to this woman please Scotland"
Hmmm. Not for nothing is the SNP's support for independence known as "Scotland's best kept secret". And of course Nicola Sturgeon cunningly ramped up the concealment by publicly announcing her intention to hold an independence referendum a few weeks before the election. These hapless unionist SNP voters really didn't stand a chance.
Why has the political weather transformed so completely since Sunday? Basically because the shock to the system that the SNP suffered two years ago has just been precisely reversed. In 2017, Nicola Sturgeon announced an independence referendum just before a national election was held (although of course she didn't know that election was coming) and there was a significant swing against the SNP. Interestingly, John Curtice noted on Sunday that the swing was misinterpreted, and it wasn't so much a backlash against an independence referendum as it was a rejection of the SNP's pro-Europeanism by a minority of Leave voters. But nevertheless, it was widely perceived to be the turning of the tide against independence, and the unionist parties were emboldened to believe that the more intransigent they were in their opposition to an indyref, the more voters would reward them.
That theory has just been tested to destruction. Once again, Nicola Sturgeon made a referendum announcement just before a national election, but this time there was a dramatic swing in the SNP's favour. Once again, the Tories ran a single issue "No to Indyref 2" campaign, but this time they took a hammering. On some sort of level, the unionist parties must be questioning the lessons they thought they learned two years ago. The cognitive dissonance in Labour ranks will be particularly extreme - they'll be thinking "the voters weren't supposed to react like this".
I can only repeat the question I've been asking for four years. Given that Labour's disaster in 2015 was caused pretty much exclusively by the loss of Yes voters who were appalled by the party's behaviour during the indyref, how do they think they're going to reverse that result by doubling down on British nationalism? OK, I understand that they've also lost unionist support to the Tories since 2015 and they're having to fight a rearguard action to deal with that, but ultimately they're never going to regain their previous dominance of Scottish politics unless they start making their peace with Yes voters.