This article appears as part of the Unspun: Scottish Politics newsletter.

School’s almost out for summer, and you can just picture the children running out the gates, arms raised with glee with the promise of unfettered freedom and long, hot holidays.

Pity, then, the poor staff as they troop back in, shoulders slumped, to get the buildings open again for the general election and ready as polling places.

John Swinney has lambasted Rishi Sunak’s decision to hold the country-wide vote on July 4 – during the Scottish school holidays – saying the decision shows a “lack of respect” for Scotland.

It’s hard to escape the fact that picking the date, and the subsequent effect on the Scottish getaway, was an afterthought on the part of the Prime Minister.

Similar to making sure your party is on board with the decision, and always having an umbrella in the rain, he didn’t seem to have taken on board the wider ramifications of what he was doing.

Not least because this immediately gave John Swinney and the SNP a line of attack to kickstart their campaign.

Mr Swinney said: “I don’t really think the arrangements in Scotland for the school holidays have really been anywhere near the calculations made by the Prime Minister.”

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Asked whether he would expect them to be, he said: “I think it would be respectful if that was the case but it’s pretty typical of the lack of respect shown to Scotland that we’re an afterthought from the Westminster establishment and particularly the Conservative establishment.

“What it means is that people who are going to be on holiday at the start of the school holidays in late June, early July have got to arrange a postal vote so that they can exercise their (right to) vote and be participants in our democracy, so that’s got to be put in place pretty quickly by folk.”

The final disrespect to Scotland. Deny the nationalists independence? OK, that’s going to raise some hackles. Drag the country out of the EU? A lot more people getting riled over that.

But mess with the country’s holidays? Surely, Mr Sunak has gone too far.

Others have recognised the open goal this has presented to the SNP; Sunak had previously suggested the election date would be "good for your holidays" while appearing on ITV chat show Loose Women.

Posting on social media today, journalist Philip Murray said: "Sunak's remarks on Loose Women again prove he doesn't give two hoots about Scotland or its people. Early July general election will not go down well north of the border.”

Polling expert Mark Diffley agreed: "Calling an election at the start of the Scottish school holidays is a gift to the SNP – tells you all you need to know about UK Government attitude to Scotland."

The reasons why the summer election date is unpopular are manifold. To begin with, for an election to achieve its aim and have the widest constituency going to the polls, it is counter-intuitive to hold one when many people are out of the country or away from home.

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Indeed, it goes against convention that general elections be held in the spring, autumn or winter (though not Christmas), with only one July election in living memory.

Gerry Hassan, a journalist and political commentator, said: "The last UK general election in July was 1945. The reason – the end of the Second World War in Europe.

"Yet again Scotland is not at the heart of Westminster considerations."

People risk being disenfranchised unless they can organise a postal vote – and the deadline to do so is 5pm on Wednesday 19 June.

There is also the issue of students who may have registered to vote at their university address, only to be caught out by the holidays.

But the campaign in Scotland may now take on a different flavour. Activists, volunteers and politicians themselves may have been planning to take a break, but will now have to cancel plans to pound the streets, shake hands and stuff letterboxes.

Overall, the July date is likely to cast a dampener over the election in Scotland, which may see turnout down on recent years.

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Ian Smart, a lawyer and Labour party campaigner, said he estimated that "30 per cent of Scottish people with children will be away from home on July 4".

But who this helps is a different matter. It’s thought that the Tories, trailing in the polls, are counting on the recent slightly sunnier economic outlook for a boost at the ballot box.

The football European Championships will be nearing the quarter final stage when the election has come round, and Sunak is probably hoping for a boost in patriotism should England do well.

(Swinney could also foresee a similar bump if Scotland also go on to greatness).

It will all depend on which party can get their voters out, in the event they haven’t left the election behind in favour of sunnier climes.