Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has called time on an eventful political career which, some had suggested, could eventually have seen her rise to the very top of British politics.
It’s a surprising decision, which Davidson attributed mostly to personal factors – but the timing of her announcement has already raised eyebrows, given Davidson’s longstanding opposition to Boris Johnson’s pursuit of a no-deal Brexit.
And while Johnson may be quietly relieved in the short term to see a critic of his approach step down, Davidson’s decision could spell danger for their party’s prospects north of the border.
That’s because, for years, Davidson has been something of a rarity – a Conservative popular in Scotland.
For generations, the party has struggled to gain traction in the typically more left-leaning country – and its current leader Johnson is especially unpopular in the country, opinion polls have shown.
But Davidson's socially liberal ideology, her straight-talking manner and her ease in front of cameras made her a respected figure in Scotland, reviving the party's standing in the country.
That turnaround resulted in a staggering success at the ballot box in 2017, when -- bucking the national trend -- the Conservatives made impressive gains in Scotland. Under Davidson's stewardship, the party turned their single Scottish seat in Westminster into 13, taking the wind out of the sails of the rival Scottish National Party.
It also won Davidson the praise of party figures south of the border, many of whom saw her as the answer to winning over younger voters who had flocked towards Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.
There's also the small matter of Brexit; while England voted comfortably in favor of leaving the European Union, Scotland voted by 62% to 38% to remain -- and as the national party moves towards backing a no-deal Brexit, it risks hemorrhaging support in the region without a popular leader.
So while Davidson has boosted the Conservative Party in Scotland, her resignation leaves it in a quandary -- and threatens to wreck its progress made in the country under her watch.