YOU just know the jig is up when fully paid-up groupies are saying to the Tories, in essence, “in the name of God just go".

Tim Montgomerie is a particular case in point. The founder and first editor of the ­ConservativeHome website, he told Sky News the other day that Rishi Sunak should just pull the plug since “every week will be a bad week for the Conservatives from here on in”.

It’s not that Tim – who also briefly served as an adviser to Boris Johnson (below) – thinks that waiting till the autumn to call an ­election will bestow blessings on his erstwhile ­colleagues. He just believes that hoping like Micawber for good tidings to turn up and save their bacon is fantasy politics.

The National: Former prime minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his political future (Victoria Jones/PA)

Montgomerie is not what you’d call a one-nation Tory type either. An ­evangelical Christian – which, he once claimed, saved him from being a full-blown teenage Thatcherite – he’s wedded to low taxes and thought David Cameron too much of a ­soggy liberal by far.

Yet he’s long been a sort of right-wing human weathervane. Close to Iain ­Duncan Smith and William Hague – for whom he penned speeches – he’s developed a useful habit of jumping ship when he feels the ­water rising round his ankles. If Tim thinks the Tory game’s a bogey, it probably is.

You might also reflect that his former party is in the kind of back-to-basics mode which did for John Major. Which is to say so many MPs have lost the whip in the kind of scandals that have become ever more lurid of late, there will soon be more Independent Conservatives than official ones. (A bit like so many Scottish councils!)

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However, it would be folly to imagine that just as the UK Government seems ­finally overdue its just deserts at the polls, all is well with the Holyrood variety.

The Scottish Government is not immune from one of the great political truths; if you are in power for a very long time, the ­public’s appetite for change becomes ever-more insistent.

What has helped to keep the SNP in ­power has been the lack of a credible ­alternative. Neither the Tories nor the now-shilpit L­ibDem ranks are ever going to form a government here.

The Labour Party smell blood as the election approaches, but there’s not much in a Starmer-led government to offer hope to the Scottish nation.

Absolutely nothing in the case of ­independence, since the UK Labour leader is the staunchest of Unionists and many folks in his prospective cabinet would find it difficult to locate ­Edinburgh on a map.

Within Scottish Labour ranks there are some doughty fechters to be found, but hardly enough to form a government. Anas Sarwar clearly hopes the upcoming polls will bring some much-needed ballast to his troops. Will there be enough heavy hitters elected though?

And what of our government? The stark truth is that our current First ­Minister (below) – universally lauded as a decent bloke – is not particularly popular with the public or, indeed, with swathes of his own troops.

The National: Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf will speak at the event in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

The problem with being a ­continuity candidate is that you feel obliged to ­continue supporting initiatives about which the electorate fails to give much of a damn.

Yet when you do feel obliged to pivot – like last week’s abandonment of the 2030 carbon reduction target – lots of folk who privately concede you had little choice, will publicly pour ordure all over your head.

In short, when you keep to the ­previous faith, you get pelters, and when you throw some stuff overboard you consider unachievable, you still get pelters.

And then there’s your partners. The Greens are up in very visible arms over the Government’s perceived wobbles on climate change action. The problem is that every time they get handed the chance to formulate and run with specific policies they have tended to fall on their face.

Voters struggling to meet energy bills are unlikely to warm to the thought of their own expensive investment in heat pumps or new boilers. The move to a ­district-based alternative might prove more popular in the long term.

And whilst there was clearly merit in having a bottle return scheme, it was not exactly adroitly delivered. A more ­experienced politician might have ­avoided the carefully laid elephant traps.

There is too the problem that some of the Green activists are openly querying the Bute House agreement which brought Harvie and Slater into the ministerial ranks.

In their dismay they are merely echoing the views of some in the SNP who would like that agreement jettisoned too. The Greens membership will now vote on whether to stay in bed with the SNP.

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The latter’s view is that it should not be the junior partner who feels able to issue red lines at will, daring the government of the day to stray from what they consider hallowed ground – their devotion to Gender Recognition Reform, and the Rainbow Greens stout defence of puberty blockers remaining available.

You might imagine, after the Cass ­Review, a period of reflection and self-examination might ensue, but frankly the breath is not being held. People were and are attracted to the Greens because of their recognition that climate change is a clear and all too present danger.

They were not voting Green because they were hoping to give trans activists a higher profile. Nor were they expecting to be dismissed as transphobic should they dare to offer an opinion which didn’t ­precisely dovetail with party policy.

Whether the Bute House Agreement will survive is unclear for now. For my own part I believe that the price of gaining a Holyrood majority was both too steep and probably unnecessary.

It’s possible to govern in a minority given that you only require agreement on one issue with one party to get your ­budget through. Which tactically avoids you being endlessly beholden to another group. The art of the deal, as that nice Mr Trump (below) might have it, is all about ­sussing out which carrot needs dangling in front of whom.

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Though perhaps it’s naïve to ­suppose that in an increasingly fractious ­Holyrood, any party leader will offer ­anything ­resembling an olive branch to any ­opponent. But as I’ve argued before, no one party and no one politician has a monopoly on sound ideas.

As a current instance, there is wide cross-party approval for Liam MacArthur’s Assisted Dying Bill.

Yet, as has been unkindly observed, his LibDem colleagues could all travel to parliament in the one taxi these days.

His bill reflects the fact that public opinion on this issue has steadily moved towards acceptance and also that politicians who go with the grain of public opinion are always more likely to succeed.

I note in passing that the Care Not ­Killing campaign group is up in arms about it all. It’s an odd name for a group which claims to spread goodwill and ­compassion. Murder is on nobody’s ­agenda here, just a recognition that some people have a truly horrible death over which they have no agency.

Palliative care can certainly work some wonders with some people some of the time, but is all too often not readily ­available in much of Scotland. Given the current travails of the Scottish NHS, I’m not expecting a much-needed expansion any time soon.

Meanwhile, back at the Holyrood ranch, I listened in, as usual, to First ­Minister’s Questions last Thursday. It was something of an object lesson in how not to do grown-up politics.

We get enough of that nonsense in the Commons without needing to import an unlovely quotient of vitriol to our own chamber.

The horseshoe shape was devised very particularly to avoid unarmed verbal ­combat and to encourage discursive and civilised debate.

Clearly, nobody has taken time to ­explain that reasoning to the current batch of MSPs.