SCOTLAND'S Independence Referendum threw up some odd bedfellows.

Christian capitalist Brian Souter and Greens chief Patrick Harvie on the Yes side immediately spring to mind.

The pro-Union campaign had some longer-term, unlikely alliances, most notably the Labour Party and the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.

As far back as 2007 the fiercely socially conservative Order's Grand Master called on the majority of his members with a historic animosity to Labour to suspend it and back the Unionist party most likely to defeat the SNP in their area: Labour.

September's No vote, which both the Order and Labour have credited themselves for helping secure, has largely put an end to that marriage of convenience, creating a political vacuum one party believes itself ready to fill; Ukip.

Senior sources within the anti-immigration party have told me its (now seemingly permanent) interim leadership in Scotland believes it is capable of securing a seat in the 2016 Holyrood elections either in Glasgow or Lanarkshire.

One concern is that this involves attempting to introduce what boils down to sectarianism into mainstream Scottish politics.

The tell-tale signs are there.

Arthur 'Misty' Thackeray, Ukip's Scottish chairman, notoriously claimed Glasgow City Council was for 'gays, Catholics and communists', accusing it of a "suffocating culture of anti-loyalism" and criticising efforts to curb a march by the far-right Scottish Defence League.

Thackeray has also sought to compare Catholicism & Islam as "inwardly sharing a fascist ideology".

Ukip's Scottish Borders luminary Caroline Santos has been throwing her support behind some maverick fringes of the Rangers support, championing the cause that Celtic FC were receiving 'State Aid' from Glasgow Council or describing MSPs who signed a motion congratulating Alloa's recent victory as "bigots".

It is a path Ukip is also trying in Northern Ireland, out Unionisting the mainstream Unionists.

(One acquaintance who had a brief dalliance with Ukip told me amongst a host of reasons for leaving was that it had become "too Ulstery".)

Meanwhile, with Nigel Farage's focus being solely on Westminster 2015, Scotland remains a backwater run almost as a Ukip franchise.

The source said: "(MEP David) Coburn is nominally in charge but Misty runs the show. Part of the strategy they think will get them at least is a seat is to try and legitimise sectarianism in Scotland.

"The question is how much of this is just opportunism and how much is deeply felt. People who don't know the turf are allowing this approach. But members in England would find it abhorrent."

The question is, who will buy into this? Ukip in England may be surging but attempts at Northern Ireland-style uber Unionism in Scottish politics have flopped badly in the past. (Scottish Unionist Party anyone?)

Furthermore, the Orange Order, canny at times, does not instruct its members which way to vote. Ukip wants out of the EU. It wants a repeal of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Why would an organisation which routinely cites the ECHR to underpin its right to march want that?