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This article challenges the narrative that the SNP was mortally wounded by its ‘seismic’ by-election defeat in Rutherglen and that the victor—Scottish Labour—will inevitably recapture its lost status as Scotland's largest political party in the next general election. There is no question the Rutherglen result was a shock—the first ever by-election loss for the SNP in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon's surprise resignation, a fractious leadership contest to select her successor, the weariness and policy failures that beset any ruling party after sixteen years in government and the 2022 Supreme Court ruling that effectively banned the Scottish Parliament from holding a lawful referendum. But just as the SNP's earlier invincibility was exaggerated, so too are predictions of its imminent demise. Much depends on whether the party can devise an independence strategy that generates enough belief and excitement to motivate Yes voters, who still constitute roughly half the electorate and two-thirds of Scots aged 30 and under.