Tories 'extremely foolish' over election boasts, says Alex Salmond

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"They've had a good day by their standards but we've got to put into context - the Tories polled a lower share of the vote in Scotland than Jeremy Corbyn did in England so, yes, a good performance from a low starting point but it's Labour that the Tories have taken support from, not the SNP".

But even if everyone who voted independent on Thursday would have voted SNP in a general election (a highly improbable supposition in itself), that clearly can not account for all of the difference between the two performances.

"We go into this election with one seat".

The party secured 13,741 on first preference votes, doubling its number of seats in the local authority area.

Internal party data based on how Scotland voted at last week's local government election claims that the party is poised to stage a remarkable comeback north of the border.

But then Tories should beware of making their own mistakes when it comes to expectation management. Similarly, given the respective SNP and Conservative vote shares in Moray (31.6% to 36.1%), home to Angus Robertson, the party's Westminster leader could also be in trouble. Maybe we are simply discovering that voters in Scotland are just not so keen on voting for the SNP in local elections - as was the case for Westminster elections until the party's 2015 success.

Still, that disappointment did not stop the SNP winning half the vote in the United Kingdom election in 2015, so perhaps it will not do so again.

Following the local elections which saw the SNP come out as the largest party across Scotland's local authorities, the SNP leader warned Prime Minister Theresa May that her flirtation with Ukip voters in England to pursue a hard negotiating stance with the European Union will result in the "sacrifice of thousands of Scottish jobs".

Other deals may be harder to stitch together, not least because of the SNP's declared refusal to work with the Tories.

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"In standing up to the SNP's drive for separation, she is now more in touch with Scotland than Nicola Sturgeon".

"We need a strong Scottish Parliament, delivering on the powers we already have, and a voice at Westminster that won't put up with Tory attempts to hold Scotland back".

She said: "Across Scotland, it's a two-horse race".

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"The Tories are helping us in their rather presumptuous announcements that they're going to win the seat".

"The people have their say at the ballot box and I think the north-east of Scotland has a way of bringing people who make vainglorious boasts down to earth with a sharp bump".

Last week's results followed a campaign by the Tories focused on opposition to a second referendum - a message they will carry through their General Election campaign in the weeks ahead. They seem to want to silence Scotland's democratic voice.

It also believes it has a chance in Glasgow East.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has previously said that the council results suggested his party could challenge the SNP in key constituencies in the general election.