General election result: Everything you need to know this morning

"But overall results show the SNP will win a majority of the seats in this country and a majority of the votes".

Derek Mackay, the SNP's business convener and Scotland's finance secretary, insisted on Thursday night that such a result would nevertheless constitute victory for the nationalists north of the English border - and would still be vastly better than the six seats that the SNP held at Westminster before 2015.

The Prime Minister needs the continued support of the 13 Scottish Tory MPs for votes to pass in her favour in the House of Commons. "I think we can have a tremendous amount of leverage".

She also insisted her party had won the election in Scotland - returning more MPs than its rivals combined.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said that the prospect of a second referendum was "dead" after a "historic" night in which party recorded its best general election performance since 1983.

Nigel Farage, the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), was scathing of May.

She may yet prove key to choosing a new leader to replace the party's nationwide leader, Prime Minister Theresa May, whose future is now in question.

Policies that appealed to voters who left Labour for the SNP before, during and after the 2014 referendum brought many back.

The First Minister said she was "disappointed" by the results, which saw both depute leader Angus Robertson and former first minister Alex Salmond dramatically defeated by the Conservatives.

Sturgeon told the BBC that a "post-Brexit uncertainty" was a factor in people's voting choices, and "certainly the independence referendum is part of that".

The SNP also lost Mike Weir, who had been the MP for Angus since 2001, and culture spokesman John Nicolson in East Dunbartonshire.

All three national British parties won just one seat each in 2015.

"If Ruth disagrees with something, she says so", said a former Conservative party adviser.

Mr Robertson, who had been the SNP's leader at Westminster, had been defending a majority of more than 9,000 but he was felled by Conservative Douglas Ross.

Mr Salmond, who was first elected as an MP 30 years ago in 1987, lost his Gordon constituency to Tory Colin Clark who overturned a majority of 8,687 to win by 2,607 votes.

The sizable losses appear to have been a repudiation of the party's promise to send Scots back to the polls for a second independence vote. They are now expected to claim high-profile SNP political scalps as the results come in. Her stance, a far cry from that of Sturgeon, was based on understanding "the street." .

Sturgeon said she would now seek an alliance with like-minded parties to try to keep the Conservatives out of government and to keep both Scotland and the United Kingdom within the single European market as part of the Brexit talks.

1,328). They also retook second place in two long-lost highland strongholds: Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey (formerly Danny Alexander's seat) and Ross, Skye, & Lochaber, and increased their vote substantially nearly everywhere.

Mrs Sturgeon, who is also Scotland's first minister, remains powerful-but she is damaged.

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