IT is in the interests of the whole UK for there to be a General Election now.

People everywhere are crying out for change and the chance to have a say on the shambles that is the current Westminster government.

And – while I hold no brief for them whatsoever – it is probably the case, even if much less obvious, that it is also in the interests of the Tory Party to have an election now too.

Not because they stand any chance of winning it, but because the scale of defeat they suffer will, I strongly suspect, only get bigger the longer they drag things out.

It is the instinct of politicians, of all stripes, when the polls are bad, to hope that somehow things will improve.

To convince themselves that it will get better – no matter how overwhelming the evidence to the contrary might be.

That is exactly what Rishi Sunak will be thinking right now. He will be inventing any number of ways to convince himself that by the autumn or maybe later (the deadline for an election is January 2025), voters will have magically decided that they want another Tory government after all. He is deluding himself.

People are sick and tired of the Tories. Every day they are reminded of the multiple ways in which Sunak and his government are letting them down, and the more determined they are getting to kick them out.

The desperation of the Budget last week – and the public response to it – proves that the Tories are out of ideas and out of time.

In a cost-of-living crisis, it is of course the case that people need more money in their pockets.

To that end, a cut in National Insurance will be welcomed by many. But people are not stupid.

Everyone knows that public services are under real pressure and the price of that tax cut will be less money to help ensure people get the help and support they need.

And while public services are mainly devolved responsibilities of the Scottish Government, the amount of money available to invest in them is still largely determined by Westminster. That’s why it was so disappointing that there was next to nothing in the chancellor’s Budget to help the NHS and other services.

It was also disappointing, to put it mildly, to hear Labour say that there was virtually nothing in the Tory Budget they disagreed with.

At a time when people want and need real change, Labour appear to be offering more of the same – they are just doing it wearing a red rosette rather than a blue one.

While I know no one will be surprised to hear me say this, it remains the case that only a vote for the SNP has any chance of making Scotland’s voice heard at Westminster.

It is the only way of ensuring that Scotland’s interests are defended and not simply ignored by the Westminster parties.

And it is absolutely the only way of securing the progress to independence that Scotland badly needs.

Let us hope that the election comes sooner rather than later, that we can see the back of this dreadful Tory government and re-elect a team of SNP MPs who will, as they always have, put Scotland’s interests first.