Alba finished in sixth place in seven of the eight electoral regions - the exception being South Scotland, where they finished seventh behind George Galloway's All for Unity. However, there were two regions, Central Scotland and Glasgow, where they were within a tiny fraction of outpolling the Liberal Democrats and finishing fifth - a reminder that other parties also have their own difficult questions to ponder as they look to the future. Andrew Page of A Scottish Liberal has offered a characteristically no-holds-barred analysis of the Lib Dems' shortcomings in this election, concluding that they've alienated potential pro-independence supporters by being too tribally unionist, and that they've put too much emphasis on a small number of constituency seats and not enough on the regional list.
If I was reading that from the perspective of a Lib Dem loyalist, I'm pretty sure I'd say that the elephant in the room is Westminster elections. If the Lib Dems take a more ecumenical approach on the constitution in order to broaden their support, they'll lose tactical unionist votes in Edinburgh West, North-East Fife, and Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross, and those seats could essentially become unwinnable - with no regional list to compensate them in Westminster votes. But if that is the main reason for the current strategy, it shows that they've become imprisoned by fear in the same way that the SNP were in the aftermath of the 2017 election - they're losing sight of the fact that the prize they could gain by being more radical is more important than what they stand to lose along the way. In the long run, what do the Lib Dems achieve by perpetuating their own ghettoisation in a handful of locations? Jo Grimond famously said in the 1950s that the Liberals needed to "get on or get out" - at the moment they seem resolutely determined to do neither.
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I finished my column for next month's iScot magazine earlier today, so now may be a good moment to gently point you in the direction of various subscription options. Remember that it's available both online and in print. A yearly digital subscription costs less than £30, although I know many people really look forward to receiving a print edition in the post every month.