IT probably won’t become one of those ‘‘where were you when it happened?’’ moments, but it was still a shocker, wasn’t it?

Jackson Carlaw resigned with immediate effect on Thursday, a few hours after questioning Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs; a mere five months after he won the Scottish Tory leadership contest; and right slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic.

The news was a surprise to most people but perhaps we should have seen it coming. During Jackson Carlaw’s short tenure as leader, there was barely a whimper of dissent from his party in public. We’ve since learned that in private, there was real and growing frustration with his leadership.

A damning poll for YouGov showed that 48% of voters don’t even know who he is, and his net favourability rating is a woeful -32.

READ MORE: Here's what Scottish Tory leader hopeful Douglas Ross said he'd do if PM

In his resignation statement, Carlaw revealed he had come to the “painful conclusion’’ that he was not the best person to lead his party into the next election. He also admitted he doesn’t believe he would be the most effective mascot for the Union.

Whatever his critics may think of his performance as leader, the way in which this resignation statement came about was brutal.

It seems that Scottish Tory MSPs heard the news at the same time as the rest of us. Tories in Westminster, on the other hand, were clearly kept in the loop: given the quote from Boris Johnson that accompanied Carlaw’s resignation letter.

The National: Undated handout file photo of Conservative MP Douglas Ross who has apologised for saying his priority as prime minister would be to bring in ''tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers''. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday Augu

And then there’s the curious case of Tory MP Douglas Ross (above), who somehow managed to assemble a full campaign team for his leadership bid within minutes of the news breaking. If reports are to be believed, it looks like Jackson Carlaw got a wee visit from the men in grey suits who – while they may not have pushed him – certainly gave him a nudge in the direction they wanted him to go.

It was also reported that Carlaw’s only request was for it to look as though he went of his own accord. This is not an unreasonable request to make but the fact it was leaked shows how little his colleagues cared about fulfilling it.

This is a shabby way for a party to treat their leader. Whoever goes on to lead the Scottish Tories will surely be sleeping with one eye open, knowing they won’t be afforded the luxury of time to settle into the role.

From some of the commentary around his resignation, it’s clear the legacy of Ruth Davidson partly sealed Carlaw’s fate. The Scottish Tories know they aren’t going to win next year’s Holyrood election. So they’re not looking for a winner: they’re looking for a fighter. Somebody who will “put the boot in” to the SNP and not worry about coming across as a serious or constructive opposition.

Yesterday, Douglas Ross formally announced his leadership bid. He said in his statement: “This is a crucial time in Scottish politics. We are months away from an important election, and need strong, decisive leadership of our party to take on and defeat the SNP in seats right across the country.’’

READ MORE: 'We’ve crossed swords politically': FM reacts to Jackson Carlaw quitting

In a move that showed how highly he rates his chances, Douglas Ross also said that if he wins, he wants Ruth Davidson to stand in for him at FMQ’s until May. Surprise surprise, she has agreed.

This will no doubt excite the membership and certain UK commentators, but I wonder how her headline-grabbing, soundbite-loving turns at FMQs will come across these days? Will she still get undeserved media plaudits for her “scrappy’’ performances, or will the coronavirus crisis expose her as the unserious politician she is?

We will have to wait and see.

One thing we can be certain about is that the Scottish Tories are in for some turbulent months ahead. Tempers are already frayed and it’s only going to get worse when the leadership contest, or coronation, gets under way.

In a remarkably candid interview on Thursday, Carlaw’s former leadership rival Michelle Ballantyne said she believed he had been forced to go by Westminster, but she was glad he was gone. She said she didn’t want another “stitch-up’” where somebody was “foisted upon us”.

The National:

In response, outgoing Tory MSP Adam Tomkins (above) said Ballantyne didn’t know what she was talking about and that her remarks were deeply unhelpful.

You have to wonder whether Jackson Carlaw has watched the rows developing over the last few days and felt a sense of relief that he is going. It certainly looks as though his colleagues are relieved they have gotten rid of him. I suspect this will be shortlived. Whoever is installed as Boris’s man in Holyrood will have to deal with a fractured party, unenviable poll ratings and the poor record of the Westminster Government.

It’s a tough job, but now that they’ve dispatched Jackson Carlaw with such ruthless efficiency: somebody’s got to do it.