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The First Minister's statement to parliament was uncomfortable for her but at least gives her a deadline. In the light of which, suggests Richard Parry, political observers might like to look at a calendar.  
 
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The SNP machine has been quick to point out that the party has just won its (and any party’s) highest ever share of constituency votes.   The translation of constituency votes into seats highlights the disproportionality of that element of the system: 46.5% delivered 81% of seats.  This compares with the result from last year’s Scottish results in the UK general election when the SNP won 95% of seats with 50% of the vote.  But this was not a first-past-the-post election.  The SNP advanced in the constituencies but fell back on the lists.
 
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The influence of the SNP at Westminster is yet to be truly measured, says Nicola McEwen, but the Scotland Bill may demonstrate that real change is achieved behind the scenes. 
 
It was 27 years ago when the Jim Sillars, flush from winning the Govan by-election for the SNP, taunted Scottish Labour MPs for being the ‘feeble fifty’, unable to defend Scotland against the excesses of Thatcherism. As the Westminster parliament begins its summer recess, we can reflect on what, if anything, the 56 SNP MPs have been able to achieve.  
 
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Craig McAngus looks at how the SNP has to both protest and oppose, and this won’t be an easy balancing act. This post orignally appeared on Holyrood.

The SNP’s result at the General Election was nothing short of astounding. Despite being on the losing side of the referendum, the party has become a winner in an electoral contest that it has never managed to conquer before.

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The results of the general election in Scotland were described by Ed Miliband as a "nationalist surge" however, explains Jan Eichhorn, voting for the SNP and supporting and supporting independence are two different things. 
 
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