THERE was the usual expected trouble when supporters of the Orange Order took to the streets of Glasgow yesterday for their annual Battle of the Boyne commemorations, with several arrests after ugly drunken brawls.

But it was the unexpected General Election result and the deal between the Tories and the hardline DUP, that seemed upper most in the minds of Orangemen yesterday. Keeping their hangers-on in line, wasn't as important as triumphalism.

The members of the Orange Order who brought the streets of Scotland’s biggest city to a standstill seemed to have a spring in their step. They swaggered to Glasgow Green with renewed purpose.

Thousands gathered in the public park to hear triumphalist speeches which attacked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and “Republican sympathiser” Jeremy Corbyn, but talked up the rise of the DUP as an indication that “the future is Orange”.

Cheers erupted when the crowd was told the SNP “got a kicking” and Sturgeon’s plans for a second independence referendum were now “shot to pieces”.

The day began at George Square where around 300 people gathered for a low key remembrance service. Children wearing full Rangers strips ran around on the grass while groups of adults sporting orange sashes shook hands and embraced as street vendors sold union flags.

The full parade duly arrived shortly before 10am and bemused tourists - unaware of the significance of the procession - took selfies.

Hundreds of onlookers followed the parade to Glasgow Green, many of them wearing Rangers tops and swigging Buckfast straight from the bottle.

One young woman wearing the football kit said: “We're a Protestant team and this is a Protestant organisation so we're connected.”

However, another onlooker said the Orange Order don't want people turning up in football colours because they're “drunk idiots who spoil it for the rest of us”.

Around 60 flute bands converged as the cacophony of whistles and drums grew deafening. Band after band from across Scotland and Northern Ireland took more than an hour to reach the park. The total number of demonstrators and supporters was estimated to be around 9000.

The Truth Defenders, the Crown Defenders, the Protestant Boys, the Protestant Martyrs, the True Blues, the Young Loyalists, the Sisters of Truth, the Crimson Star, the Loyal Daughters – these just some of the band names.

Well-wishers waving Red Hand of Ulster flags lined the streets. One group had a life size cardboard cut-out of the Queen.

Political speeches began at Glasgow Green under “Orangefest” banners but numbers here were fewer than expected, with many empty chairs in front of the stage. Barriers were hastily removed and stewards appealed to people to take empty seats.

The leader of the Labour Party the first to come under fire.

In the so-called “State of the Nation” speech, Depute County Grand Master Brother Stephen Brown warned that “Republican sympathisers like Jeremy Corbyn and his cohorts continue to plot and scheme”.

Brown said seeing Tory MPs unseat Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson “was greeted with delight” in the Orange Order, which brought applause from the crowd.

“What a kicking the SNP got,” he said. “As far as the Orange Order is concerned, it could not have been a better outcome. Nicola’s immediate plans for an independence referendum are all but shot to pieces and the sudden rise in stature of the DUP can only be good for Northern Ireland and, inevitably, for unionism and loyalism.”

He added: “From an Orange perspective, we can benefit from a situation where our Orange voice can be heard in the highest of courts. Sisters and brethren, the future is most definitely Orange.”

The guest speaker was Brother Reverend Mervyn Gibson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, who began by congratulating members who were “elected to public office as councillors and other who do not hide their support for the Orange institution”.

He then condemned charities who refuse donations from the Orange Order as “sectarian bigots”.

Gibson also took a swipe at the First Minister and the SNP. He said: “You have your own home-grown nationalists to face. Much tamer than our lot but just as determined to see the United Kingdom destroyed. Proud Nicola’s army who the voters just recently sent home to think again. Well she did think again and postponed seeking another referendum. Although it would have been better if she’d taken it off the table altogether."

He ended his tirade by urging members of the Orange Order to stand up against Scottish nationalists.

Gibson said: “To defeat their ambition to break up the United Kingdom we need to work together, supporting one another as you supported us during the Troubles.”

Alcohol was banned from the gated Glasgow Green but there were no bag checks and many people were drinking.

As tension grew between rival factions a group of around 20 young women were involved in a scuffle. Men joined in then police pulled them apart. The aggressors were told to walk away in different directions.

A similar brawl involving young men in nearby Saltmarket saw an arrest made for an alleged serious assault.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Eight people were arrested for alleged minor disorder and alleged alcohol-related offences. A man is currently detained in connection with an alleged serious assault in the Saltmarket.”

She added: “We estimate there were 4500 participants and 4500 spectators.”