SO the local elections have come and gone. Party spin doctors are all trying to spin that their party did better than expected – with the exception of the Tories. In truth the SNP gained 23 seats, Labour 19, the LibDems 20 and the Greens 15. All these at the expense of the Tories and independents, who lost 76 between them. No doubt Partygate and the cost-of-living crisis played a big part in the Tories’ decline.

In terms of share of the vote, the SNP gained 34.1% of the first preferences, around one in three of the votes cast. The Greens managed 5.9%. Together, 40%. Given that at least some current Labour voters may support independence in a referendum, this looks like a fairly decent starting point for the referendum campaign and matches recent opinion poll results.

READ MORE: Indyref2 won't be decided by Tories, says SNP's Kirsten Oswald

Late 2023 is not that far away. Deduct two periods of summer holidays, a Christmas and New Year period and it is just over a year to polling day. That of course assumes that the SNP and Green leadership are ready, willing and able to launch the indyref2 campaign in the next month or so.

It will take a monumental effort, a whole lot of money, and a big political push to get us from 40ish percent to 50ish percent in the next year or so. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is a common saying that originated from a Chinese proverb. The political calendar is currently election-free until after late 2023 so there should be no more distractions to divert us from our goal.

READ MORE: Support for independence referendum rises to 55 per cent, says poll

Saturday’s All Under One Banner march in Glasgow could and should be the first step on the indyref2 journey. If that opportunity to launch the campaign is missed, thoughts of summer holidays and the like – for many folk, the first in two years – will perhaps take the focus of both the activists and the general public away from the campaign. Every day lost between now and late 2023 is a day gained by the Unionists and their well-financed media allies.

I hope as many as possible of our 487 SNP and Green councillors will come to Glasgow and march with the rest of us. Surely the leaders of both parties, MPs and MSPs could join them. Hopefully the First Minister will lead the march in her home city and announce the start of our campaign to freedom.

Glenda Burns

WE now appear to be in the post-election UK media talk-down of the SNP/Green party success.

Scotland now has an SNP/Green national government, with a really quite broad range of policies and preferences, and an electorate to suit, but a substantial accord is the need to move away from the UK Government(s)’ chosen “long-term economic plan”, which is/was based upon imposing austerity upon the least wealthy.

A 206-seat majority of SNP/Green councillors over their least unpopular pro-UK rival Slab really highlights the problem ConDemSlab have, in that they found themselves unable to believably unite behind any component of austerity. “Don’t mention Brexit” austerity was about the best that they and their UK media could muster.

READ MORE: SNP councillors eye takeover of 'Better Together' council after topping poll

ConDemSlab, in response to their failure at local government level, are now limited to calling for the SNP/Green national government to spell out their national vision of the future Scotland as an independent EU nation state, in order that they can denigrate every aspect of such a vision until Indyref2 in 2023.

Meanwhile, what is now becoming incontrovertibly clear to the majority of the electorate in Scotland is that UK governance is not even remotely an acceptable alternative without a written UK constitution, which appears to be some decades off, given the extent of the endemic breaking of most social norms at Westminster.

The SNP/Greens now have the task of taking the lead in the race to Indyref2, keeping the lead, and finishing well ahead of the also-rans, whilst continuously telling their political opponents their race plan, and with the UK media suggesting that they are not in the lead.

What must be somewhat comforting to the SNP/Greens, however, is that the future SNP/Greens national government has now further developed a substantive and renewed logistical supply chain of quality councillors, for potential future MSP/MEP roles and to assist the race to Yes2.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

I NEVER thought I would ever find myself agreeing with Jacob Rees-Mogg. He was absolutely right when he said that D Ross “has always been a lightweight.”

In defence of Ross, the Scottish Tories then turned on Rees-Mogg, advising him to “have a long lie down.” How I relish seeing the callous Tories turning on each other!

The irresolute D Ross is at it again. After the Tories’ disastrous council election results, Ross has reverted back to being one of Boris Johnson’s most trenchant critics. Ross is now blaming the Tories’ poor showing in the council elections on Johnson and Partygate.

READ MORE: One year after their elections, two MSPs look back on a tumultuous time at Holyrood

D Ross certainly is in a tailspin, initially sending a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson to Sir Graham Brady’s 1922 Committee. Dithering D Ross then withdrew his letter, urging everyone to get behind the prime minister during the Ukraine crisis. Poor Boris – with friends like Douglas Ross, who needs enemies?

Douglas Ross’s future as leader of the Scottish Conservative party must be in some doubt, for his indecision was partly responsible for the Tories being relegated to third place behind Labour.

Sandy Gordon

NOTHING sinister about the Mogg being in Edinburgh – he was only checking to see how many members of staff were actually present at work in the building.

Ian Lawson

IS Douglas Ross away with the ferries when ship tackling with skipper Sturgeon in the port of FMQ?

Alan Magnus-Bennett