General Election 2017: This is how the night unfolded

Theresa May to ask the Queen if Tories can form a government despite hung parliament

Theresa May to ask the Queen if Tories can form a government despite hung parliament

"I'm disappointed at the SNP losses but I'm pleased that we've won the election".

The Scottish National Party went into this general election with losses predicted from their record 56-seat haul in 2015, but even the nationalists' fiercest critics could not have envisaged such a hard night for Nicola Sturgeon's party. Only two years later, however, and this was reduced to 34 seats.

"SNP MPs who lost their seats have paid the price or what was a massive political miscalculation on Nicola Sturgeon's part".

What lies behind these changing fortunes?

The SNP went into the general election on the back on a record-breaking performance in 2015, when the party won all but three of Scotland's 59 seats. For the first time in more than a decade the SNP is losing momentum.

Ms Davidson was elected as leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2011 after opposing a similar plan put forward by rival Murdo Fraser, now the party's finance spokesman.

Without Davidson, Scotland could have been dragged down the path towards independence. Ruth Davidson ran a very good campaign and has proven herself to be a capable and effective leader.

That role appears to have fallen to the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland and that has opened up a whole new can of worms (I would say vipers but there are no snakes in Ireland).

"I'm proud to be Scottish and British and female and gay and Christian and Conservative and a Fifer and fond of chips, a fan of "Hamilton" the musical and to prefer dogs to cats", she told an audience at the Orwell Foundation last month.

"Folk might remember I fought a leadership election on the other side of that particular argument", she added.

Sturgeon suggested that she was ready to work with Labour, the second-biggest party in parliament, and others, to keep the Conservatives from five more years in power.

Conservative Scottish Secretary David Mundell told BBC Scotland: "It's becoming increasingly clear the SNP bubble has burst". But the SNP have failed to live up to this - their programme in government has been underwhelming and their manifesto for the general election was lacklustre.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as Islington North MP in north London, increasing his majority.

One of the most dynamic parts of the Scottish electorate is the roughly 10% of voters who sit to the left of the SNP. The Scottish Tories doubled their share of the vote to 28.6%, with Labour up by 2.8 points at 27.1% and the Lib Dems down slightly to 6.8%. There are many within the SNP, and the wider independence movement, who questioned the wisdom of asking the question again at the end of the Brexit negotiations, while the polls remain at a standstill. In all, they gained 12, with Scottish leader Ruth Davidson declaring another independence referendum "dead". However, they have little affinity or loyalty to the SNP or its leader.

Labour and Liberal Democrats have also made gains in Scotland, in a swing some pundits are describing as a rejection of Scottish independence.

Many commentators focused on the DUP vetoing the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland in 2015, in opposition to the rest of the United Kingdom, and in stark contrast to this country which voted in favour of same-sex marriage in a referendum.

Scotland, where a majority of people voted against Brexit at the June 2016 referendum, set out in December 2016 its own proposals for the European Union, titled "Scotland's Place in Europe", at the heart of which lies a strategy for the nation's continued inclusion in the European single market.

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