IT seems like only yesterday that the Scottish media were fawning all over Ruth Davidson’s triumphant return to Scottish politics.

Here was our next First Minister! Here comes the saviour of the Union! Oh how quickly things seem to have changed.

It was only in May this year, after she returned from maternity leave, that Daily Mail columnist Stephen Daisley declared: “Mummy’s home.”

That heroic return quickly hit a roadblock, however, when new Prime Minister Boris Johnson entirely snubbed Davidson and fired Scottish Secretary David Mundell, a key ally to her. Now, the glowing praise appearing in columns across the land seems a distant memory.

“Peak Ruth is long past. Project Ruth is over,” declared Kenny Farquharson in The Times yesterday.

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He continued: “Mr Johnson is not the trickiest challenge facing the Scottish Tory leader. For that, she has only to look in the mirror. Ms Davidson’s biggest problem is that she is no longer the kind of leader her party needs.”

That, he says, is down to the rise of the Brexit Party.

In the Sunday Times, Euan McColm painted an even bleaker picture of the electoral hopes of the Scottish Tories.

McColm said SNP MP Tommy Sheppard had “truth on his side” when he remarked: “Ruth Davidson is a busted flush – Johnson has humiliated her and left her authority non-existent following the sacking of David Mundell.”

The battle against the Brexit Party will see Johnson take his party to the right, and so trample Davidson’s branch “into the dirt”, he added.

While Martin Kettle did not go full “Mummy’s Home” on her return, writing in The Guardian in May he was among those heralding the new era she could bring in.

“She’s back: and Ruth Davidson could be the one person who can save the Tories,” read the headline.

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And in the column itself, on her leadership potential, he wrote: “There is a political recognition there that the demise of the Cameron project, of which she was herself a key part, has redefined her own political role; and a personal recognition that, as a new mother living in Edinburgh, moving to London could simply be miserable.

“But this doesn’t mean she is not a player, let alone that she somehow does not matter much now.”

Cut to the present day and Kettle sounds much less optimistic.

On Monday, he wrote: “It hasn’t helped that the Tory Party enjoyed a limited recovery in Scotland since 2016 under a leader, Ruth Davidson, who is a strong Remainer. The election of Johnson, and the new Prime Minister’s refusal to keep her ally David Mundell in the cabinet as Scottish Secretary have pulled the rug out from under Davidson.”

The Guardian was damning in an editorial, too, describing the “state of disunion”.

The National:

Echoing Kettle in suggesting the game was up for Davidson, it read: “Mr Johnson’s casual embrace of a possible no-deal Brexit (which he just as casually denied in an interview) has undermined both Ms Davidson and Tory credibility on the issue in Scotland.

“Meanwhile, although the brutal sacking of the former Scottish secretary, David Mundell, last week may not have received much attention in England, it has been widely seen in Scotland as an act that pulls the rug from under Ms Davidson.”

It was a far cry from familiar talk of “saving the Tory Party” – and that was Alex Massie’s analysis in The Times, too.

He said: “My sense is that all the happy optimistic talk about Ms Davidson becoming first minister in 2021 has had an unfortunate altercation with political reality. There is a glumness in Tory circles these days which accepts that preventing the SNP and Greens from winning a pro-independence majority at Holyrood is about as good as it can get for the Tories.”

Summing up, he argued that Johnson is “reminding Ms Davidson of where power lies”.