WHILE many will undoubtedly be relieved that a bitter and divisive General Election campaign has come to close, it didn’t take long for the fear about what Boris Johnson might do with his new majority to settle in.

A Prime Minister who almost outshone Donald Trump in demonstrating his qualities as a buffoon, has now got an iron grip on the levers of power.

He can and will bring us five more years of austerity, attacks on the vulnerable and isolation as we inevitably walk out of the European Union next month.

The polarised vote saw a strong rejection of the Tories in Scotland and locally many will be glad to finally get shot of Luke Graham, even if his SNP replacement still day-dreams of Dunbartonshire.

What I heard around the doors in this election was the sound of gritted teeth.

So many people felt they were being dragged down a tactical voting path and, in the end, had little option than to vote SNP to keep “them” out.

Under the drastically unfair voting system of First-Past-The-Post, the winner takes all for their own voters and no-one else gets a look in.

In a country as sharply divided as ours the fundamental unfairness of this dated and discredited system becomes even more apparent.

While the Tories heavy electoral defeat in Scotland is welcome, this doesn’t mean that the SNP should be given carte blanche in Holyrood.

It’s an effective strategy for the SNP to point to the Tory bogeymen in London when things go wrong.

The trouble is that while much of their criticism is fair, using Boris Johnson or his predecessors as the standard sets a very low bar.

But we can’t allow the SNP to use Westminster’s failings to completely obfuscate mistakes made in Edinburgh.

The SNP’s record on addressing the climate emergency is, unfortunately, all too timid.

Across a range of ministerial portfolios there is a lack of ambition and a lack of recognition that an emergency situation demands an emergency response.

The scale of their recent victory makes this as important now as it has ever been.

One area the SNP will have continued support from the Greens is on the need for another independence referendum.

Few people, even in the SNP, expected the case for a second independence referendum to come around again this quickly.

But the results of the 2014 independence and the 2016 European referenda in Scotland have always been incompatible.

Any hope some voters had to remain in the EU while also staying in the UK have now been dashed.

We are now seeing the most stark of political divides and Scotland cannot be dragged over the Brexit cliff edge by a party that has no Scottish mandate to do so.

Now there is work to do at Holyrood, but the parliamentary majority to ask Westminster for a referendum is there between SNP and Green MSPs.

An emphatic Scottish vote to reject Brexit and decide our own future has been made, it’s time for the Prime Minister to respect that mandate.