The gazebos on College Green are back, the man playing his glockenspiel is back, and the MPs are back – for one week only.

Or at least that’s Boris Johnson’s plan, unless he’s stopped by the courts or the cross-party rebel alliance.

It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen this week, but we do know it will be historic. Hours of footage for the TV news channels, and reams of copy for the newspapers.

A General Election feels imminent.

And on Wednesday, the precursor to any election campaign will be held – Sajid Javid’s spending review. The Tories are promising the "biggest, most generous spending review since the height of Tony Blair's New Labour", with local councils in England expected to receive an extra £3.5 billion.

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Amid the Westminster chaos, Holyrood will struggle to get a look-in.

But this week will also see the publication of the Scottish Government’s programme for government, with 14 new bills.

This won’t be a list of pre-election giveaways, with the First Minister stating that tackling inequality and climate changes will be at the heart of her programme. But the political rhetoric will focus on a Parliament "getting on with the day job" while Westminster literally prepares to shut down.

The SNP is enjoying something of a purple patch, thanks in no small part to the actions of its opponents. Proroguing Parliament plays right into the Nationalists’ hands. They say you should never interrupt your enemy when they are making mistakes.

So it must be sorely tempting for Nicola Sturgeon to sit back and watch the chaos unfold, but as her former top adviser – the incomparable Kevin Pringle – said yesterday, the party must "keep refreshing the policy agenda".

Few can realistically argue that the SNP hasn’t made progressive changes to Scotland’s justice system, is working hard to tackle discrimination, and has been bold in addressing the climate crisis.

But there is also no shortage of domestic challenges ahead.

Education was famously billed by Ms Sturgeon as her main priority, yet there is a growing revolt over P1 tests, not to mention a major teacher recruitment shortage and low morale, and a failure to meet class-size targets.

When Tony Blair made "education, education, education" his priority it led to the kind of transformational improvement that has not materialised under the SNP.

This coming December the latest international comparison of performance in reading, maths and science will be published. It could be a pivotal moment for Nicola Sturgeon and her Education Secretary, John Swinney.

In other policy fields, it remains to be seen whether Scottish voters are content to be told that their NHS is performing better than England, given the increasing pressures the health service is facing.

The legal right patients have to be seen within 12 weeks has been broken 100,000 times in just a year.

Operations are being cancelled because hospitals cannot cope, and a promise to end delayed discharge has still not been met.

Scotland’s health service needs money and resources that simply aren’t readily available.

Tax revenues were almost £1 billion less than expected for 2017/18 and while Brexit is leading to economic trouble across the UK, Scotland’s underlying performance remains weak despite a narrowing of its budget deficit.

The financial problems won’t make it any easier for ministers to achieve their significant policy pledges set to be introduced in the months ahead.

A doubling of the entitlement to early learning and childcare - from 600 hours to 1,140 hours - is due in August 2020.

But childcare expansion plans are missing forecasts by up to 20 per cent, with early learning expansion over 5,000 childcare places and more than 400 staff places behind schedule.

Will councils be ready to deliver when the 1,140 hours' entitlement comes into force?

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And what about the ban on household waste going to landfill that will be enforced a few months later?

The likelihood is it will simply lead to an increase in exporting waste to England and elsewhere, with the associated financial and environmental costs.

But what may cause the biggest headache for ministers is the continued transfer of welfare powers to Holyrood.

There are already delays to the full roll-out until the middle of the next Parliament – nearly a decade after the Smith Commission made its post-referendum recommendations.

Further delays have been pencilled in for disabled pensioner benefits and carers, and observers expect a further delay in at least one other area will be announced.

This autumn, the Fiscal Commission will start to give forecasts on expenditure for benefits being delivered right up to the 2021 election.

It will show for the first time the full impact of social security devolution, and the pressure of increasing caseloads, on the Scottish Government’s budget.

The current "fiscal framework" agreed in the wake of the Smith Commission devolution settlement is due to be looked at, so at some point there will have to be negotiations with the UK Government about the next deal. Last time it took months to break the deadlock and the Boris Johnson administration may well drive a harder bargain than George Osborne did.

That would play right into the SNP’s hands in terms of political rhetoric, but an unseemly standoff won’t help those relying on welfare payments.

Ahead of the 2017 General Election, a major crisis in the Scottish Government’s IT system left thousands of farmers without their farm subsidy payments, contributing to Tory gains in some rural areas.

Imagine the backlash if there are similar problems with the delivery of welfare payments.

These impending challenges are not necessarily all of the SNP’s own making. But the Nationalists have torn up the rule book which states that the party of government is the one held responsible by voters.

That’s what always having someone else to blame can achieve, regardless of the truth, and right now their opponents are making it easy for them.

Scottish Labour is a shadow of its former self, the Scottish Tories have lost their star, UK Labour is battling with the LibDems for a distant second place in the polls, and the UK Tories are demolishing democracy.

The SNP’s ability to navigate choppy waters ahead will depend not only on what it does in government, but whether its opponents can rise to the challenge.

There are testing times ahead for every political party.