EVEN when political commentary is dominated by social media “hot takes”, three days into a new premiership is an early moment to draw many conclusions, let alone rush to a comprehensive judgment. Boris Johnson and his radically reshaped Cabinet may prove the last government of the United Kingdom, the most right-wing administration for decades, the architects of a successful Brexit, or a disastrous one, the recipe for a revival of Conservative fortunes or their demise.

Persuasive arguments can be made for all these, but there is as yet no data on which to argue for their truth; and will not be until some of the new government’s policies are implemented. The Prime Minister’s appointments, however, allow for very tentative views on the possible direction of the new government.

The first is that it really is new: change in rhetoric is no proof of that (Brexit supporters were initially optimistic about Theresa May), but the appointment of Dominic Cummings, who ran the Leave campaign, is a declaration that both strategic and tactical planning for Brexit, deal or no deal, has been put in place. That need not be good news for Brexit hardliners; Mr Cummings has previously been scathing about many in the European Research Group, as well as those allied with the Brexit Party.

The Cabinet, socially the most diverse ever, also suggests that this Government will be fiscally right-wing – most are classical liberals, in economic terms – but socially liberal, particularly on issues of personal freedom. This accords with Mr Johnson’s instincts, and his record while Mayor of London, and contrasts with Mrs May’s authoritarian tendencies.

The fact that among the first policy announcements have been that EU citizens will have an absolute right to remain in the UK, and that capped targets to cut immigration have been scrapped, are further indications of the kind of “right-wing” it won’t be.

Fine words butter no parsnips, though. Mr Johnson may have started with robust declarations of his belief in the United Kingdom, but there is no denying that many Scottish voters are resistant to his peculiar appeal – if your own party runs a campaign against you under the name “Operation Arse”, some bridge-building is in order. But it is not a foregone conclusion that the new Prime Minister will increase support for independence.

Despite attempts to paint Scottish political opinion as homogeneous, or even identical with SNP policy, there are plenty of Unionists, Conservatives and even Leavers north of the border. They’re not always the same, but the former are a majority, the Tories the second most-supported party, and even Leavers, obviously a minority, took 38 per cent of the vote. Many of these people may be sceptical of Mr Johnson, but they are constituencies from which it may be possible for him to win some support.

Which will be vital, because the one bet to be made after Mr Johnson’s first days in office is that he expects, and is preparing for, an early general election. The interesting calculation must be whether it will be before or after October 31 – something on which he may already have formed a view.

If no great concession is obtained from the European Union during August, the PM may be able to say to the electorate that he needs a mandate for his proposals (whatever they are) or no deal, and go to the country at once. That’s a huge risk but a possibility. Much would depend on neutralising the Brexit Party, a split Remain vote, and painting the EU and much of Parliament as his opposition.

If it’s after Brexit with a deal, he can claim he delivered where Mrs May failed, won’t have the Brexit Party to contend with, and can probably count on the demoralisation of Remainers (the case for tactical voting to stop Brexit will have vanished). That may even work if Brexit has been on no-deal terms, but proves less troublesome than predicted; though if it’s chaotic, he will obviously get the blame. It’s too early to tell.