The National:

IT'S almost laughable how hypocritical Tory attacks on the SNP for ever daring to mention independence have become – and Ruth Davidson's opportunistic approach has now been laid clear.

It's a frequent refrain from the Scottish Tories: the SNP are "obsessed" with independence, the Yes movement is always going on about another referendum, and on and on...

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A quick glance at the Scottish Tory Twitter feed would make it obvious that their posturing is hollow, but the statistics show it too.

BBC political reporter Philip Sim decided to take a look at which party brought the subject up first at First Minister's Questions.

There were some interesting findings.

Sim explained: "Conservative and SNP MSPs exchanging barbs at Holyrood about which party is more "obsessed" with the constitution. In an effort to shed some light on this, I've charted who brought up Scottish independence and/or Brexit each week at FMQs, going back to the start of 2017.

"Basically, in the buildup to the 2017 snap election, the Tories really were obsessed with independence. Ruth Davidson brought it up at FMQs almost every week. But after that, just about a year went by where they didn't bother with it at all - in fact, it rarely came up at all.

"To contrast, Brexit comes up pretty much every week. And while Willie Rennie does try, it's usually Nicola Sturgeon (or one of her backbenchers) who get there first."

To sum up, from January 19 to the general election on June 8, 2017, there were four weeks it was not mentioned. It was mentioned in 15 sessions.

Of those 15 weeks, two-thirds of the time it was brought up first by the Scottish Tories – mostly Ruth Davidson. And they say the SNP are the obsessed party?

The Tories mentioned it again in the week after the election, on June 15, 2017. They then went silent on the issue until May 24, 2018. That's quite the gap.

It makes the pre-election flurry look a little opportunistic, doesn't it? All those jabs about the SNP being hung up on indy and failing to focus on the day job, while they kept trying to turn the focus on to the very question they claimed to be sick of seeing.

In response to the analysis, an SNP spokesperson said: “As the chaos around Brexit unfolds, the case for independence grows ever stronger – it’s no wonder the Tories have suddenly gone quiet.” 

When it is mentioned, however, it's still the Scottish Tories doing so most often.

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Of the past eight times it's been brought up at FMQs – since May 24, 2018 – twice it was Ruth Davidson raising the subject, and twice Jackson Carlaw.

Willie Rennie also did so twice, with Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie at one each.

Were the Scottish Tories, looking to deflect from something, perhaps?

Brexit has been brought up almost every single week – and the vast majority of times it's the SNP doing so.

The Tories will be keen to avoid that subject, we suspect. The result when they attempt to address it can be hilarious.

Earlier this week, they tweeted: "Sturgeon’s opposition to the Bexit [sic] deal is obviously self-interested. The SNP just wants to take us back to yet more constitutional chaos – and we will oppose that every step of the way."

"Constitutional chaos", warn the Scottish Tories, as Theresa May's party continues to plunge the UK into an unparalleled shambles over "Bexit".

Their hypocrisy is becoming more and more obvious as they see Scots turn towards independence.