Just hours after the SNP’s general election landslide, leader Nicola Sturgeon declared: “The tectonic plates of Scottish politics have shifted.”
They certainly did in the Borders, where half a century of Liberal/Lib Dem representation at Westminister was swept away by the political tsunami which washed over the whole country. Previous incumbent Michael Moore – lauded, even by political opponents, as a decent and honourable man – was caught up by, in the reputed words of former Tory PM Harold Macmillan, “events, dear boy, events”.
A feather in this region’s cap was the appointment of David Mundell, who speaks for the Tweeddale part of the Borders in the Commons, as Secretary of State for Scotland – a position held by Mr Moore in the previous government.
Mr Moore’s replacement, the SNP’s Calum Kerr, now has five years to build up a defence of his 328-vote majority after Borderers jettisoned their traditional “aye-been” mentality.
But he may not be able to solely rely on his party’s performance or fortunes in order to be returned to Westminster in 2020 – developing a personal vote in an area which plumped strongly to remain part of the Union during the independence referendum could be the key to his continued success.