2015: the year Scotland turned SNP yellow while England remained Tory blue.

Iain Macwhirter

N the early hours of May 8, 2015, a 20-year-old politics student, Mhairi Black, defeated the Labour campaign chief, Douglas Alexander MP, one of the most experienced and highly regarded figures in the UK Labour Party. It was the most dramatic and poignant moment in the most extraordinary general election in Scottish history, which drew the curtain down on Labour’s half-century of dominance in Scottish politics.

Alexander’s Paisley seat had been one of Labour’s safest, and the former foreign secretary was not just beaten, but crushed. Black turned a 16,000 Labour majority into a 5,600 SNP majority. It was the same story across Scotland as the SNP went from having only six seats out of 59 to 56 out of 59.

Black had received her share of abuse on the internet and from political rivals during the campaign, as did a lot of politicians – social media has become a…

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