Above all else, though, Labour must now seek to warn people about the ultimate threat from a confident, two-term Nationalist administration and they must be very insistent about it: a vote for the SNP could make it just five minutes to midnight on the toxic independence clock.Very dramatic. Is it true though? Even if the SNP takes power once again, are we really any nearer independence? It seems doubtful if the Scottish Parliament would vote for it, unless the SNP had an absolute majority. And even then there seems little prospect of the Scottish people agreeing to it in a referendum.
Arguably, the impending success of the SNP at the election stems from the proposition that no-one (apart from Observer columnists and their like) really believes that a vote for the nationalists would advance by an iota the cause of independence. Labour must look elsewhere for salvation.