The referendum is for a UK parliament, not an English parliament

The main focus in this campaign was England’s Brexit battlegrounds, where most consider Boris Johnson to be won or lost by the Parliamentary vote. But this referendum is for a UK parliament, not an English parliament, and its result, therefore, rests on decisions in the other three home nations, where old cultural and political fault lines cross-cut debates over Brexit.

Despite their dramatic success in 2017, the Scottish Conservatives go into this election defending 13 seats. As the SNP recovered ground, the party was widely expected to lose most of these, and opposition to Brexit and Johnson encouraged a Scottish reversal to anti-Tory voting habits after Ruth Davidson’s departure as a leader.

But the latest Scottish polls challenged this statement. The Tories are currently holding their support in 2017 tightly, offering a fighting chance to most of their Scottish MPs.

The Scottish power of the Conservatives stems from their role in the dual political struggle over Brexit and sovereignty of the country. Scottish voters describe themselves, if not more, as autonomy from Brussels by their positions on independence from Westminster. Such two existential distinctions are intersecting.

This has created problems for the politically powerful SNP, whose pro-independence, anti-Brexit position causes friction with both the majority of pro-union Scots and the third or so of Scots who supported independence in 2014 but also backed Brexit in 2016.

Such contradictions between independence and Brexit have allowed the Conservatives in Scotland, once pariahs, to rebrand themselves as union and Brexit parties. The Brexit-focused campaign by Johnson may alienate the Remain majority of Scotland, but it appeals to the four out of ten Scots who voted for Brexit. Such two existential distinctions are intersecting.

This has created problems for the politically powerful SNP, whose pro-independence, anti-Brexit position causes friction with both the majority of pro-union Scots and the third or so of Scots who supported independence in 2014 but also backed Brexit in 2016.

Such contradictions between independence and Brexit have allowed the Conservatives in Scotland, once pariahs, to rebrand themselves as union and Brexit parties. The Brexit-focused campaign by Johnson may alienate the Remain majority of Scotland, but it appeals to the four out of ten Scots who voted for Brexit. Johnson’s decision to reject a second referendum still works well with Scottish pro-union, still a quarter of Scotland’s total population. Support both for the unity and for Brexit appears to be greater in the Tories ‘ constituencies.

Overall, the SNP gains support by pushing for independence and opposing Brexit, but by doing so, it can also help the party that is most firmly opposed to both of these positions hold crucial seats.

Stuck in the middle is Labor, which demands to change attract no takers in the current environment, and even its calamitous low ebb in 2017 looks set to sink below. The long dominance of Scottish Labor looks miles off.

Left has controlled Wales even more than it did in England, winning the principality’s last 26 general elections. As two decades of rule in the Welsh Assembly make Welsh Labor a prominent target for the populist resentment mobilized by Brexit, it can pay a price for this dominance.