'She's the Tory it's ok to like' I was told today and I couldn't disagree. Annabel Goldie, after insisting on Friday she would continue as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, became the third casualty of last Thursday's election today when she announced she was standing down in the autumn.
The three unionist parties have crumbled leaving Alex Salmond's SNP to cope with unknown and inexperienced new party leaders.
Ms Goldie was well liked by the public, but the same public wouldn't consider a return to a 1950s Scotland, when the Tories ran Scotland. Some say she should have held on to see how the ground lay, but after consultation with her party today, she U-turned. Was she shoved or was she pushed? We'll never know.
Alex Salmond paid tribute to Ms Goldie:
First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to Annabel Goldie, saying he held her in the "very highest personal regard".
He added: "Annabel acquitted herself very well in the recent election, and although her party lost ground I believe they would have lost more had she not been leader.
"I will miss Annabel's distinctive style at First Minister's Questions in particular. I am sure that Annabel still has a significant contribution to make as a distinguished parliamentarian, and she carries my very best wishes for the future."
Murdo Fraser, the current deputy leader, has emerged as the early favourite to succeed her but I don't think Mr Fraser has the skills required to tackle Alex Salmond. My criticism is based upon hearing him talk many times on local affairs - he's one of my list MSPs - when he's been average but hasn't set the heather on fire. However, there's a few months until autumn and by then the A list Tories at Westminster will have had time to confer.
Therein lies the problem of all Scottish unionist parties; the electorate know their paymasters are London based and therefore allegiances are to the south rather than Scotland. Also the Scots are becoming aware the unionist parties' Westminster counterparts scorn the Scottish Parliament and the SNP capitalised on this last week. Nobody likes to be labelled second-rate.
London Labour aren't happy with their Scottish branch. Their solution lies here. Sorry for not forewarning you and you've spilt your morning coffee.