The Conservatives accused the SNP of burying its head “in the sand” after a minister refused to categorically rule out a second independence referendum.
Commenting on the results, Ms Davidson said the Scottish nationalists should now agree to take a second referendum “off the table”.
“Many independence supporters who had previously supported the SNo switched their allegiance to Corbyn’s Labour Party costing us votes and seats”, he said. While official data has yet to be released, it is possible that some of these people abandoned the SNP in order to vote for a party that was more committed to Brexit, such as the Conservatives, or, potentially, Labour.
“The SNP tsunami of 2015, in which the party took 56 of Scotland’s 59 constituencies, was followed yesterday by an quake in which the SNP lost more than a third of their MPs”, says Alex Massie in The Times.
Overall, the SNP faced pressure from the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems, which all made gains at the SNP’s expense where a single unionist party was able to concentrate enough of its vote to take the seat, or where a divided unionist vote enabled another pro-union party to succeed on a marginal increase in its own vote share.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has already said plans for a second referendum were a “significant motivator” which lost the SNP support, adding the party would “have to be attentive to that” – indicating perhaps the nationalists might have to draw back from the proposals. She added she was open to forming a “progressive alliance” at Westminster.
She criticised Theresa May, who called a snap election in a bid to boost her party’s slender majority at Westminster – a gamble which spectacularly backfired on the Conservative leader.
Mrs May said that despite having lost their majority in the Commons, only the Conservatives had the “legitimacy” to form a Government.
She added: “The damage the Tories have done to the stability and the reputation of the United Kingdom can not be overstated”.
Former London mayoral contestant Zac Goldsmith made a comeback in this election after leaving the Conservative party a year ago in protest over its plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport, triggering a local by-election.
On Mrs May’s future, Ms Blackwood told the same programme: “She has to have the right team around her but they need to support her and make sure they put aside partisanship right now because it’s about making sure we survive the security challenges we face but also the Brexit negotiations”.
– Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) June 9, 20172/5 However, we had bitterly disappointing losses and my heartfelt thanks go to all of our brilliant candidates who were not re-elected.
This morning, we have heard SNP figures acknowledge that the referendum demands were behind its bad result.
But Mr Russell reiterated First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s stance that the SNP would reflect on plans for a second vote.
“I’ve never been afraid of debate and clash and think that’s part of it”.
This is her opportunity to do so – and I urge her to take it immediately.
The results have led to criticism of Ms Sturgeon from her own colleagues, with former justice secretary Kenny MacAskill saying there was “little coherence” and “little semblance of a message” to his party’s campaign.