Scotland remains in poll position

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A year ago this column predicted another tumultuous 12 months on the Scottish political front, following on from the historic 2014 independence referendum.

And we weren’t wrong. At May’s Westminster elections, the SNP almost achieved a total wipeout of the opposition and David Cameron’s Conservatives defied the pollsters by securing a majority UK Government. In the Borders, decades of Liberal/Liberal Democrat representation in the Commons were swept away by the nationalist tsunami.

As we enter 2016, voters face the prospect of choosing MSPs in May, with the European Union referendum looming – possibly as soon as this summer, if recent speculation turns out to be accurate.

The latter has the potential to spark demands for Scots to be asked again if they wish to leave the United Kingdom and make their own way in the world. Indeed, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said if Scotland chooses to stay in the EU, but faces being dragged out by votes cast elsewhere, then that could well be a trigger for another independence referendum.

Seconds out – let the latest ballot-boxing matches begin.