As we witness this Starmer tsunami, let us also contemplate its cause, its origin.  This is a remarkable endorsement for Labour - to whom congratulations - but it is also a shriek of pain by a troubled and anxious populace.  

Firstly, let us consider the Labour triumph.  It is remarkable, it is comprehensive, it secures a Blair-like majority in the House of Commons.  

And, from Sir Keir Starmer, there were other conscious echoes of those days when Tony Blair gained the keys to Downing Street.  

When Mr Blair won in 1997, he said his party had campaigned as New Labour - and would govern as New Labour.  Sir Keir offered to govern as "changed Labour."  

He cautioned that there would be challenges.  Expect that and more.  However ambitious, however united, it will be difficult in the extreme to turn round a static and sluggish economy.  

Difficult to achieve such an outcome before the next UK General Election.  (Yes, we're already thinking about that.)  But more difficult still in the shorter run-up to the Holyrood contest in 2026.  

Labour knows that - and yet Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, boldly proclaimed that he was already looking to the next stage:  ousting the SNP at Holyrood in two years' time.  

Which brings me back to the root cause of the results overnight.  Yes, it is a superb result for Labour.   But it is largely driven by voter anger and disquiet.  

Folk have turned upon the incumbents.  In the shape of the UK Conservative government - but also in the guise of the SNP devolved Scottish Government.  

Folk have turned upon the incumbents. Folk have turned upon the incumbents.  (Image: PA)

There was no attempt whatsoever by SNP leaders to disguise the scope of the rejection endured by their party.  Stephen Flynn, who held on to his seat, said:  "We were beat - and beat well."  

John Swinney, looking solemn and sombre at the count in Perth, said it had been a poor night for the party he leads.  He suggested that voters had perceived his team as disunited - and had responded in kind.  

As to what the response might be, both Mr Swinney and Mr Flynn promised a period of calm reflection.  If, that is, such moderation is permitted in the frenzied atmosphere which customarily follows a defeat on this scale.  

What might this SNP defeat mean for the cause of independence?  One might make a few points.  

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SNP leaders say that they sustain the mandate for an independence referendum from the 2021 Holyrood elections.  A purist might note, in passing, that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to call such a referendum - so this mandate was already in question.  

But skip purism for a second.  The cause of independence, however pursued, has been set back measurably by these results.  

It is a question of momentum.  And that is, for now, elsewhere than behind the cause of independence.  That is not to say that it will vanish.  It will not.  That is not to say it will never return as an issue.  It will.  

But it is to say that, for now, it would be a courageous and/or foolish politician who reacted to such a defeat by doubling down on independence, despite the temptations and sundry noises off.  

John SwinneyJohn Swinney (Image: PA)

I believe we heard echoes of that in the comments made by John Swinney and Stephen Flynn.  Both talked of focusing upon popular priorities - with a particular spotlight on the next Holyrood election.  

So a night when there was very, very little for the SNP to laud.  They did manage a few raucous cheers when Douglas Ross, the departing leader of the Scottish Tories, was defeated in the seat he had controversially chosen to contest.  

As for the Tories more broadly, a dreadful night - with one or two compensatory victories, including in Scotland.  They too will have to undergo a period of introspection.  

That discourse is likely to be harsh.  Rishi Sunak will be expected to stand down as UK leader - prompting not just a contest but also a debate about the nature and scope of politics on the right.  

Nigel Farage and his Reform UK Party say they will join that broader debate with vigour.  He said they would supplant the Tories and go gunning for Labour.  

We shall see with regard to that.  Instead of winning umpteen seats, they hit the bar fairly frequently, rather than the back of the net.  However, it is right to note that they performed relatively well - including in Scotland.  They made an impact, not least in weakening the Tory performance.

The Liberal Democrats?  A good night.  An enhanced party status in the Commons.  A string of key victories - including notable Scottish successes, such as a win out of the park for Wendy Chamberlain in North-east Fife.  

The common pattern?  A search for change, a desire to resile from incumbency, either in Westminster or Holyrood.  

Certainly the Labour and LibDem votes match that pattern.  But so too does the endorsement of Reform UK.  Partly that is rejecting the Tories, partly that is the Farage factor.  But also it is the voters insisting upon change and, perhaps for some, asserting that they were right to vote for Brexit, despite the economic consequences detected by experts.  

This was a cry of pain.  A shriek of anger.  It now falls to the new Prime Minister to apply soothing remedies.