" and subsequently become more visible within UK politics."
Some believe that the SNP could get over 30 MP's in, and at the other political extreme, UKIP could get quite a few, with the Lib Dems losing out. It makes for an interesting political mix at the next General election. It is possible that the Labour party gets less seats than the Tories, but the SNP would get them into Government with an ad hoc deal rather than a true coalition. If that happens, God help the deficit and National Debt.
I think Salmond threw away the referendum, If he'd come up with some serious answers to the questions on currency and EU membership instead of his childish sticking his fingers in his ears metaphorically going "nah nah nah can't hear you", pretending it wasn't an issue or it was all a plot. I think he could have won.