THE election results are in and now we have a better understanding of the Parliament’s make-up for the next five years.

Don’t worry, I’ve not lost track of time. And if you’ve still not registered to vote, you can still do so for the General Election!

I am referring to the European Parliament elections, where around 383 million people were eligible to cast their ballots across 27 countries last week and at the weekend.

For us who want to see an independent Scotland in the European Union, it was a poignant moment, given that we could not vote having previously done so for nearly 50 years.

Much has already been written about the far-right rally and a supposed surge towards a more conservative Europe. To my mind, while there were gains for those types of parties, the extent to which they seem to have swept all before them is a touch exaggerated.

That’s not to say there isn’t a challenge. The Greens and the liberal Renew group had a night to forget, with the result being so bad in France that President Emmanuel Macron has called for parliamentary elections for the country, to be held in July.

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar says ‘it’s for Scottish people to decide’ future of Scotland

I sat with the Green/EFA group during my time in the European Parliament and given the work done on Europe’s Green Deal, it is a shame to see former colleagues lose their seats.

The Social Democrat grouping did particularly badly in Germany but overall saw little change in its numbers with a decent showing across Spain and Portugal as well as Denmark.

The conservative European People’s Party group were the victors in the elections, forming the largest grouping, which almost certainly means that Ursula von der Leyen will continue as president of the European Commission.

And while far-right parties in Italy and France did well, the splits among the various groupings makes it unlikely that it will be a cohesive bloc despite its numbers.

What this means is that while there will be a more right-leaning European Parliament, the political centre ground still held. When it comes to legislation and votes, what will matter is how the EPP, the Social Democrats, Greens/EFA and Renew line up. The preliminary results at the time of writing have the four groups holding 452 of the 720 seats – a quite comfortable majority.

Meanwhile, as we enter the third week of the UK General Election campaign, the far-right is presenting its own challenge across these islands. The (perhaps unsurprising) entrance of Nigel Farage to the race has injected the Reform campaign with momentum, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s own momentous gaffes last week means the Conservatives face the real prospect of emulating the French Socialists in 2017 and being annihilated. Given how the Tories have run the show, I can’t say I will be too sorry to see them go.

Labour, though, remain positively unenthused and uninspiring. It’s a party which seems convinced that by merely holding power things will get better. And while it’s perhaps unsurprising that I’d far rather a Labour government than a Tory one, Labour’s own insipid campaign means that having wanted power for so long, once they actually get it they have no real vision for what they will do differently.

In the SNP and the independence movement, we do have a positive vision and one which sees Scotland charting our own course. As Stephen Flynn demonstrated in last Friday’s televised debate, when you take on the far right with a positive vision that will deliver real change, you can show their ideas to be vacuous and unachievable.

While Labour and the Tories approached the debate as a regular Prime Minister’s Questions session, the SNP set out its stall for a progressive, positive message of independence back within the European Union.

For all their talk about how much the Westminster parties care about Scotland, it’s telling that when it was only Keir Starmer and Sunak in the room debating in front of the TV cameras we aren’t mentioned once; put the SNP there, and Scotland’s priorities are heard.

The Tories and Labour are silent about the fact that Brexit has done so much damage to the economy, but in the SNP we have the antidote of getting back into the single market, getting back into freedom of movement and getting back our rights as European citizens as an independent country.

That’s the message I’m taking to the doors in Stirling and Strathallan, and it’s one which is being warmly received. The election is not a done deal yet so to all the activists and candidates: keep up the great work!