From 7am on Thursday, British voters will have the chance to determine the next government of the UK. Traditionally, Scottish votes have counted for very little – only two post-war results would have been different with Scottish votes removed, and these governments were forced to call for another election within two years due to a lack of legislative support.
This time, however, things are different. There is a seemingly incessant amount of national news coverage, with images of Nicola Sturgeon’s selfie-snapping antics running almost to the same time as footage of Nigel Farage’s pint-swigging.
Sturgeon’s rising profile is testament to the fundamental change in Scottish politics which has come to pass since the No vote in last September’s referendum. A groundswell in SNP support was first heralded by the immediate post-election boost in membership. The party now boasts over 100,000 footsoldiers, giving them an unassailable numerical advantage over the increasingly ragged Scottish labour.
For fans of an underdog story, look no further than Scotland on Friday morning. Voters in Paisley and Renfrewshire South look set to oust one of Labour’s leading Scottish lights in Douglas Alexander, replacing him with Mhairi Black, a 20-year old politics student.
This radical transformation has not happened overnight- in fact, if it does come to pass it could well prove to be one of the least surprising results of the night. Acceptance of SNP dominance- a party, remember, who only returned six MPs in 2010 – has seeped into the Scottish political consciousness.
Cabinet ministers will also fall. Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the last government, is a near certainty to lose in Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has a fight on his hand to hold the East Renfrewshire seat he has coasted to in every election since 1997.
One of the main thrusts of the Yes Campaign was the lack of a Scottish voice at Westminster. Astonishing results, like the instances outlined, will send a loud and clear message about popular disillusionment with politics as usual.