Well the votes are cast and now we must wait on the verdict of the Scottish Electorate. Although Labour may have closed the gap on the SNP in the final stages of the contest the indications are that the SNP may be the largest party in Scotland by a few seats. If this is the result what are we to make of it?
One thing is certain - this will be no ringing endorsement of Independence. Whatever the exact number of seats gained by the SNP the pro-Union parties will by a wide margin have gained the largest percentage of the votes. There is on this view still only a limited appetite in Scotland for full blown Independence.
The SNP is likely to be faced with two main choices. They may try to form a coalition with the LibDems. But the LibDems have said with certainty that they will not concede to a referendum on Independence. If the LibDems now weasel away from this commitment they will lose all credibility. The LibDems might of course choose a coalition which ran up to the point where the SNP began to push through debates on a referendum, however to do so would leave the LibDems open to the charge that they had by the back door assisted in delivering a referendum.
The second strategy for the SNP will be to try to form a minority government and for ALex Salmond to dare the unionist parties "not to thwart the will of the Scottish People". They would in all probability couple this with attempting to pick fights over "Scottish issues" with the Westminster parliament and thereby build momentum for a referendum.
So the key to Scotland's future appears likely to be in the hands of the LibDems who once again will be Scotland's kingmakers. This will be a pleasing position perhaps for the LibDems who , after all, are likely to only be Scotland's third largest party. However they would be wise to not feel smug if they do indeed find themselves in such a position. The danger for the LibDems will be that in seeking to capitalise on the prospects of a further period in power they will be drawn into compromising their pro--union position. They would do well to remember that the Scottish voters even in this Election will have again voted overwhelmingly pro-union.