I overlooked a fascinating supplementary question in one of the two Britain-wide YouGov polls on Sunday. Respondents were asked which one of six possible coalitions they would prefer in the event of a hung parliament. Although that sort of question has been asked many times before, this is the first time I can remember permutations involving the SNP being offered among the list of options. It seems that the London media/polling establishment is beginning to wake up to the pivotal role the SNP could play if, as the current polls predict, they become the third-largest party in the new House of Commons.
Unsurprisingly, Nicola Sturgeon's party is by far the most popular of the three possible junior coalition partners among respondents in Scotland. Indeed, I suspect this number would be higher still if it wasn't for some SNP voters recoiling against the idea of their party being directly involved in government at Westminster.
Preferred junior coalition partner (respondents in Scotland) :
Liberal Democrats 27%
But even among respondents across Britain, the SNP attracts 15% support as the preferred junior coalition partner. When you consider that the party is largely ignored in the London media, and that when it isn't ignored it's demonised in a cartoonish way, that's a pretty impressive finding.
Preferred junior coalition partner (respondents across Britain) :
Liberal Democrats 35%
Presumably the explanation is that some voters south of the border (perhaps grudgingly, perhaps enthusiastically) have recognised that the SNP represent the only realistic hope for progressive governance.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
For the first time in several weeks, the new Poll of Polls update includes one subsample that has Labour ahead of the SNP. However, as with all of the other post-referendum subsamples that have shown the same thing, it comes from a Populus poll, and the result can therefore probably be explained by that firm's illogical party ID weighting procedure. None of the other subsamples in this update (including another one from Populus) have Labour even close to the SNP.
Eight subsamples are taken into account - five from YouGov, two from Populus and one from Ashcroft. I've had to exclude the recent Opinium poll, because details of the Scottish subsample were not published.
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :
SNP 42.6% (-1.5)
Labour 26.8% (+2.0)
Conservatives 18.0% (+1.3)
Liberal Democrats 5.5% (-0.8)
(The Poll of Polls uses the Scottish subsamples from all GB-wide polls that have been conducted entirely within the last seven days and for which datasets have been provided, and also all full-scale Scottish polls that have been conducted at least partly within the last seven days. Full-scale polls are given ten times the weighting of subsamples.)