THE votes have been cast, the papers counted, the declarations made, and Alex Salmond’s giant disconsolate face rolled up like a poster and stuck in a cupboard till 2021.

All that remains of the general election is to say who won. That’s where it gets tricky.

Going by the first FMQs since polling day it appears pretty much everyone triumphed.

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Certainly Tory Ruth Davidson thought she’d done well and the SNP had honked it.

“The SNP lost half a million votes and 21 MPs after the First Minister put her plan for a second independence referendum at the heart of her campaign. Does she think that was a mistake?”

It was a strange question, as it’s well known Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t do mistakes.

“The SNP won the election in Scotland!” she chirruped, ignoring the 21 stiffs at her feet.

However, as you do after an unambiguous win, she would also reflect carefully on the result.

Before anyone clocked the contradiction, the FM immediately upended Ms Davidson’s plan of attack by going on the offensive herself.

By prattling about Indyref2, Ms Davidson was guilty of a “dereliction of duty”, she said. She ought to be thinking about the looming horror of the UK entering Brexit talks without a map.

“We are going to be led off the cliff edge by a Tory Government that is devoid of legitimacy and credibility and utterly clueless,” she said as gentle warm-up.

Mr Davidson said she was hiding behind a “Brexit bogeyman” and tried to talk referenda.

The FM pounced. Here was proof Ms Davidson was “nothing more than a one-trick pony”.

On any topic other than a second referendum "she is left floundering”, she cried.

Actually, Ms Davidson is quite good at her trick. Ask her to bang a hoof for every independence referendum and she stops at one. It got her twelve stablemates.

But as Nat MSPs roared like a gymkhana of chaos, the FM followed up with a haymaker about the Tories and their “grubby deal” with the DUP.

No longer the best in show, Ms Davidson suddenly looked a short trot from the knacker’s yard.