It's striking to see how differently Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon have reacted to electoral disappointment. Sounding increasingly desperate, May stumbled blindly on, uttering meaningless words and phrases, just as she did during her disastrous campaign. Sturgeon stood before the assembled media at Bute House, acknowledged the disappointment, and stated that the SNP needs to have a period of reflection.
It's to be hoped all SNP members and voters will follow her lead. There's a strand within the nationalist movement that's inclined to sweeping generalisations and dangerous assumptions. Take the often-repeated blanket assertion that the young want independence and the old don't. From my own experience of family, friends and talking to all sorts of folk about it, I would seriously debate this.
After the independence referendum in 2014, I asked one millennial on social media for her evidence of this age divide. She brusquely told me to 'Google it.' Political debate needs to be a lot more thoughtful and rigorous than that.
When the SNP gained 56 out of Scotland's 59 Westminster seats at the 2015 general election, all but wiping out both Labour and Tories north of the border, there was much talk of seismic shifts. Now it's being suggested that the tectonic plates are beginning to settle back into their previous positions. Well, maybe. The SNP remains the third largest party at Westminster, the ruling party at Holyrood and a power in the land, in Scotland and throughout the UK. A number of the constituencies the SNP has lost this time remain marginal and another general election could be coming along all too soon.
Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale can't stop smiling. Whatever you think of Ruth Davidson's politics and party, you can't deny her energy, enthusiasm and commitment. The Scottish Tories will now be sending 13 MPs rather than just one to Westminster. That Scotland now also has seven Labour MPs instead of only one surely owes more to the unexpected surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn and traditional Labour aims and aspirations than to Dugdale's efforts.
Many SNP supporters are downcast that the political map of Scotland is now a lot more multi-coloured than it was. On the other hand, it's healthy to have a vigorous opposition. Ruling parties need to be held to account, as our democracy needs robust political debate, leavened by humour and tempered by respect for one another's sincerely-held views.