ALL eyes will be on Westminster today as we wait to see if the House of Commons will approve Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Those brave souls who have crunched the numbers and made predictions tell us it will be close. Whatever the outcome, a General Election in the next few months looms large.

The result of today’s vote will directly impact that campaign. It will be an election fought predominately on Brexit and – in Scotlandindyref2.

Bolstered by gains in the European Parliament elections, LibDem politicians are not being shy in talking up their prospects. Leader Jo Swinson has positioned herself as a prospective prime minister, arguing that she offers voters a chance to have a leader looking to the future, while Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are stuck in the past.

The National: Jo Swinson is one of the many consideration for prime minister if Boris Johnson is made to leaveJo Swinson is one of the many consideration for prime minister if Boris Johnson is made to leave

She faced some understandable scepticism about her chances when she was interviewed by Kay Burley earlier in the week. In the most recent poll of Westminster voting intentions, the LibDems are languishing at 18%. We know that in these unprecedented political times nothing is certain, but if I was Swinson, I wouldn’t book the moving van just yet.

In response to Burley’s doubt about her chances of victory, Swinson pointed out that no votes had yet been cast and that the public had the right to have their say.

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In her characteristically earnest style, she spoke at length about the fundamental right of the electorate to give their judgement on which party they want to form a government and – of course – to have the final say on Brexit in a “People’s Vote”.

It was at this point in the interview that things started to go wrong for Swinson as Burley honed-in on the fundamental flaw – and hypocrisy – in the LibDem’s stance on a second referendum.

Burley asked why it was democratic and necessary for the UK to vote again on EU membership, but beyond the pale for voters in Scotland to have another say on independence – given the irrefutably changed circumstances and mandate to hold one.

The National: Jo Swinson firmly believes in a second referendum for Brexit ... her justification crumbles when applied to indyref2Jo Swinson firmly believes in a second referendum for Brexit ... her justification crumbles when applied to indyref2

Swinson spluttered and stuttered and her answer was illuminating.

Her winning argument against indyref2 is that she doesn’t want it to happen.

She went on to claim that she had been entirely consistent on the matter: she wants the UK to remain in the EU but she doesn’t want Scotland to leave the UK.

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So that’s that settled then. “What Jo wants” is the new test of public support and we all just have to like it or lump it.

Her position is so utterly illogical, so democratically defunct and shameless that even Burley – not known for her Yesser credentials – felt fit to point it out.

She accused Swinson of being “duplicitous in the extreme” for the obvious double standard.

If Swinson genuinely believes that she is in with a shot of becoming the next prime minister, she needs to demonstrate a modicum of understanding of how democracy works.

Parties put forward a manifesto which the public have their chance to endorse or reject. In Scotland, none of the Unionist parties have managed to win an election since 2014 on their various “No to indyref2” pledges.

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The SNP won the last election on an explicit commitment to hold another referendum in the circumstances that have since come to pass. The Scottish Parliament has voted for it.

Polls show support for independence at 50% and we are on the brink of being taken out the EU against our will, contrary to the promises made by the No side in 2014.

The National: Support for independence has grown past 50% in pollsSupport for independence has grown past 50% in polls

It would be arrogant of any politician to believe that their personal preferences mattered more than that of the electorate. It is especially arrogant when it comes from the leader of the smallest party in Holyrood.

While it is disheartening to see the leader of a party with “democrat” in its name show such scant regard for the rights of voters, we should take comfort from the fact that Swinson will face many more tricky interviews such as this one in the months ahead.

Sloganeering and vague platitudes about the electorate being in charge are easy. But pressed on the detail – and inconsistency – of the central policy of her party, Swinson demonstrated the weakness of her own argument.

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The LibDems have been successful in positioning themselves as a pro-EU, pro-People’s Vote party. While that clear message is likely to give them a boost in the upcoming General Election, it will not be enough to put her in Downing Street. Not least because there is no sign that a LibDem revival is likely in Scotland.

Not that losing another election in Scotland will trouble Swinson, of course. She seems to believe that public opinion only matters when it is in line with her own. A delusion from which I am sure she will draw comfort when the votes are counted.