ELECTIONS are, by their very nature, divisive. Important arguments are in contention, articulated by loud and passionate people.

Emotions are aroused as everything moves towards a single moment of choice. If you win, you feel you were always right and your opponents always wrong.

If you lose, you suspect you have been unfairly out manoeuvred and can’t understand how anyone could regard the outcome as fair. So while post-poll, winners and losers will both call for reconciliation, the difficulty of actually resolving the divisions is great.

It is made even greater when most politicians have little idea of how to achieve such healing and are instead deeply mired in actions that make it an impossibility.

That swamp is where Boris Johnson was on Friday morning, opining about the need for “the nation” to come together whilst simultaneously decrying anyone who still had any reservations about Brexit and contemptuously ignoring the votes and choices of Scotland and Northern Ireland. In reality a “one nation” approach to Brexit when, in a Union of four nations, two have decisively said no to that crucial, existential change and are doubling down on that position is an impossibility unless by “one nation” Johnson simply means rule by England and the rest can go hang.

Given my experience of his and the predecessor Tory Government, it is precisely what he does mean. Michael Gove was at it before the ink was dry on the exit poll, sneering at the very idea that a landslide for the SNP could mean anything of significance at all.

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That democracy-denying attitude cannot hold. In the coming weeks we will see a growing pressure in Scotland – and not just from the SNP – for an acceptance in London that our part of the Union must have the right to choose whether to accept a dismal future in Brexit Britain, or take the required steps to normal independent membership of the EU.

The process of moving towards a second indyref is already underway and is unstoppable. The more it is opposed by Johnson the stronger support for it will become.

I had a text from a friend on Friday morning who has never been convinced by the arguments for Scotland’s membership of the EU as an independent country. Now, however, he is moving towards the view that there simply isn’t any other way to secure the type of outward looking, socially progressive society in which he wants to live.

In the past he has leant the SNP his vote and been uncomfortable when he thought that the SNP was claiming that tactical support in one constituency as firm and unqualified universal backing for the party’s central aim.

There will be many like him in Scotland who will now be looking at independence if not yet with enthusiasm, at least with curiosity and a sense of narrowed choices.

The election result on Thursday night was, for them, the last straw. They have woken up to the uncomfortable truth that Scottish electoral choices and Scottish political priorities will always, without independence, be dependent on the decisions of English voters.

The National: After this election, independence is more relevant than ever beforeAfter this election, independence is more relevant than ever before

For the national movement, in all its parts, this emerging Scottish political consciousness presents a major challenge and a major opportunity.

The challenge is to build into our politics a true, not rhetorical, “one nation” approach, respecting these crucially important voters and finding ways not just to reconcile them to the choice that Scotland is in the process of making but to engage their talents as well.

The opportunity it gives is of increasing the support for independence, as a second referendum grows close, in a decisive manner moving up a gear from the incremental growth in the past five years and ensuring that when Scotland does choose its future it does so in a way that is incapable of being challenged or undermined.

We must now open our ears to what our as yet not fully convinced, but potentially supportive, fellow Scottish citizens are saying and ensure that we learn all we can from that process.

Our future literally depends on it.