The nation was gripped in recent weeks as the Scottish came out in their masses, with a record 84.5 per cent turnout, to vote in a referendum that could have changed the face of the United Kingdom forever as they decided whether or not to become an independent nation. It was one of the most unpredictable votes in recent history but the ‘Better Together’ campaign won by a defiant 55 per cent, as the people of Scotland rejected independence with questions over the currency, oil and healthcare becoming some of the most prominent issues that are thought to have swayed many voters.

With all parties pledging a ‘No’ vote would result in greater powers for Scottish MPs within Scotland, there is evidence to suggest that the result could not have worked out better for the Tories. On the surface, this may seem unclear with raw figures suggesting an independent Scotland would have worked greatly in Cameron’s favour, with the Conservatives having one MP out of 59 in the Scottish Parliament versus Labour’s 41. This, inevitably could have massively increased the chances of a Conservative dominated Parliament for years to come. Although this is true, it is a rather one-dimensional view of the question over Scottish independence and its ramifications for the Tories.

It is imperative to remember that a core belief held by the members of the Conservative party and their supporters is that the United Kingdom should remain a union, with a break from Scotland, no matter how electorally advantageous, undermining this. With regards to Cameron’s leadership more directly, it would have been a ‘humiliation’ for him in the words of senior Tory MP David Davis, who suggested the Prime Minister may have been forced to resign if he failed to retain the 300 year union. With Cameron’s defeat in the House of Commons in 2013 over military intervention in Syria, still ringing in his ears – the first time a Prime Minister has been defeated over a foreign policy issue since 1782 – and suggestions circling that he, albeit briefly, contemplated resignation, a ‘Yes’ vote would definitely have shaken things up for the Prime Minister.

Luckily for Cameron, the result fell in his favour, and with ‘the 45’ still disillusioned with Scotland remaining in the union and many voting ‘No’ in light of the promise of Scotland being given more powers, Cameron is in a great position to use this result to reduce Scottish influence in Parliament and bolster Conservative influence. By publicly emphasising his drive to give the Scottish more influence over their own laws and policies in a supposed response to the desires of the Scottish people, he can simultaneously push for ‘English votes’ to be for ‘English laws’ ring-fencing Scottish power and thus Labour’s influence over decisions made about England in Parliament. This idea is further reinforced when considering that Labour was at the heart of the Better Together campaign, and are now horrified at the prospect of excluding Scottish MPs from voting on English laws in the House of Commons, seeing this as a direct attempt to damage Miliband’s chances of gaining power. In addition, Labour’s promises appear to give Scotland less money to play with in comparison to the Conservatives’ pledges.

So, from this perspective, despite some disillusion from Conservative party members about giving Scotland more powers and money, Cameron has secured the best of both worlds – he has kept the union together, and now has more of a chance of reducing Scottish, and thus Labour’s influence within Parliament. But how will this actually play out? I guess we will have to wait and see.