THE results of the UK General Election in Scotland are breathtaking. The SNP secured the greatest victory of any party, winning a higher percentage of the vote in Scotland, with a higher percentage of seats and by a bigger margin over the defeated losers than the Tories across the UK.

Boris Johnson may have won in England, but he was a loser in Scotland. His party lost seats, lost voters and lost the argument.

By winning 45% of the vote in Scotland the SNP eclipsed the Tory UK total of 44%, while the Tories didn’t come even close to winning the remarkable 80% of seats the SNP won. The winning margin for the SNP over the Tories in Scotland was 20%, while across the UK the Tories only managed 11% against the routed Labour Party.

The National: The Labour party lost all but one seat in Scotland to the SNPThe Labour party lost all but one seat in Scotland to the SNP

In individual contests, the SNP won the majority of Tory-held seats and came close in all others, the SNP won all bar one Labour seats and famously defeated UK LibDem leader Jo Swinson. The SNP won across the country – including every single seat in Glasgow – increased majorities in all Edinburgh-held seats, won all Lothian seats outside the capital, romped home in all Tayside seats, won seats back in the north-east, secured a majority of seats in the Highlands and Islands and significantly increased the vote in the south of Scotland. The SNP came close in the remainder of seats with excellent first-time candidates including Laura Mitchell, Sarah Masson, Catriona MacDonald, Fergus Mutch and Paul Robertson. The only loss was North-East Fife, which was the most marginal seat in the country, where Stephen Gethins increased his vote but was pipped at the post.

By winning the 2019 General Election so decisively, the SNP has secured another mandate for an independence referendum. It already won previous elections with a manifesto commitment for a referendum: the 2016 Scottish Parliament Election, the 2017 UK General Election, the 2019 European Election. This General Election victory is the fourth consecutive parliamentary election that the SNP has won, securing a mandate for Scotland’s people to determine their own future when they choose to.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the General Election result “renews, reinforces and strengthens the mandate we have from previous elections to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their future”. Speaking at a press conference after the results, she addressed comments directly to Boris Johnson.

She said: “So, to the Prime Minister, let me be clear. This is not simply a demand that I or the SNP are making. It is the right of the people of Scotland – and you as the leader of a defeated party in Scotland have no right to stand in the way.”

Meanwhile, across Europe the election result and what it means for Scotland and the EU is being widely commented on. Fabian Zuleeg, the Chief Executive and Chief Economist of the European Policy Centre, and others, have been reacting to the renewed SNP mandate saying that Brussels should engage with the Scottish question.

Back in Scotland we need to accelerate the preparations for the referendum campaign for whenever that comes. Lots of preparation has already been done, but there is still work to do, especially in understanding voters who are open-minded on independence. The UK General Election showed that 45% of voters were prepared to back the party of independence and the right to have a referendum. We still have work to do to help persuade those who need assurance and reassurance about the next steps.

READ MORE: General Election result has now finished UK as a political entity

THAT is exactly what Progress Scotland is all about. When I set up the polling and research organisation this time last year, I was keen that we understand the needs, interests, concerns and expectations of people who are persuadable on independence.

Our research over the past 12 months has shown that around two-thirds (62%) of voters agree with the statement that “control over all decisions affecting people in Scotland should be made by the Scottish Parliament/Government, regardless of which political party is in power”.

In terms of specific constitutional powers, the majority of voters want the Scottish Government to have power over whether or not there should be another independence referendum (58%), the timing of any referendum (58%) and the question to be asked (62%).

When it comes to the wording of the question in any future referendum, voters overwhelmingly found the phrasing of the 2014 referendum question “clear and easy to understand” (87%), “fair” (81%) and “would be satisfied if that question was used again” (77%).

Given the renewed mandate the SNP has been given, we should expect an independence referendum sooner rather than later. Let’s make sure we win it and win it well.