Alexander: Sturgeon and SNP having ‘disastrous’ night

He said: “If this poll is correct it would still point to the SNP winning the election in Scotland, which is what we set out to achieve”.

She warned the pro-Union electorate that every seat Ms Sturgeon party takes will “be hailed as a ringing endorsement” for separation.

The First Minister has come under fire from some quarters for apparently revealing details of a private conversation she had with Kezia Dugdale in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats adopted the same message as the Conservatives by concentrating on opposing secession, and all did well on Thursday night.

‘It’s clear from the results that Scotland and Britain as a whole is still divided, but I am feeling optimistic, ‘ she said. “I don’t want another vote on it”. “I want to silence it once and for all”.

Speaking as the SNP’s deputy leader lost his Moray seat to Conservative challenger Douglas Ross, Robertson said that he had “noticed some sensitivity with Angus Robertson” on the campaign trail.

After making stunning gains in 2015, Nicola Sturgeon’s party lost seats to the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats to see their numbers slashed to 35 MPs.

She said Labour were more “ambiguous” on independence.

“If that sounds dramatic, it’s meant to”.

When voters go to the polls across Scotland today, they can elect a Labour MP who will oppose an unwanted and unnecessary second referendum.

Despite that, the Tories have repeatedly warned a Labour minority government would lead to a “coalition of chaos” with the SNP, with May saying in Edinburgh earlier in the week that Sturgeon would be “pulling the strings from [her official residence] Bute House”. Paul Masterton took the constituency – which 20 years ago had been the safest Tory seat in Scotland – from the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald.

“If you lend us their vote at this election, the Scottish Conservatives can stop it”.

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “It was a mobile phone conversation”.

Scotland’s first minister said the Prime Minister was a “very hard person to establish rapport with” but that she didn’t know her well enough to know “whether I like her or not”.

“I think what you’re not entitled to do, though, is to always be having a go at me just for wanting to give people in Scotland a choice”.

She said as a party with significant parliamentary representation she would be willing to be part of a “progressive alternative” to a Conservative government if there is a need for a coalition.

“And to Labour voters in particular, I offer this reassurance”.

The Tories have grabbed at least ten mostly rural seats from the SNP – but Labour and the Lib Dems have also made gains in Scotland.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has put her lifetime dream of independence centre of her party’s election campaign, but critics say it is an obsession that has blinded her to other key issues.

Nicola Sturgeon