There's still no sign at all that the elusive "Murphy honeymoon" is having any effect whatever on the SNP's polling strength. Nicola Sturgeon's party is at 44% in today's YouGov subsample, which is a touch higher than their recent average. Admittedly Labour are also towards the upper end of their current "normal range" at 31% - that's probably just the effect of normal sampling variation, although it would be ironic if Murphy's coronation ended up slightly boosting both the SNP and Labour. The logic for thinking that might happen is that some core Labour voters hate his guts, while lots of natural Tory voters love him to bits - ring any bells?
Today's update of the Poll of Polls is based on the recent full-scale Scottish poll from YouGov, plus Scottish subsamples from eight GB-wide polls - four from YouGov, two from Populus and two from ComRes.
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :
SNP 43.8% (-1.2)
Labour 26.7% (+0.2)
Conservatives 16.9% (+0.2)
Liberal Democrats 4.7% (+0.2)
UKIP 3.7% (+0.2)
Greens 3.2% (+0.3)
(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.)
There'll probably only be one more Poll of Polls update before the end of the year, because YouGov will shortly be closing down their daily polls for the Christmas/New Year period. We'll then be into the scary twilight zone where public opinion might be changing without us having any way of knowing. But from early January onwards, we'll have regular polling (at GB level) all the way through to polling day in May.
Incidentally, the above update doesn't include today's ICM poll in the Guardian, because the datasets haven't been published yet. (I briefly thought I'd found them and posted the Scottish subsample on Twitter, only to realise that I was looking at the November poll!) However, the Britain-wide figures are interesting, because they offer the first credible sign in ages that the Lib Dems might yet cling on to third place in the popular vote -
Britain-wide voting intentions (ICM, 12th-16th December) :
Labour 33% (+1)
Conservatives 28% (-3)
UKIP 14% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 14% (+3)
"Others" (including SNP) 6% (n/c)
Greens 5% (-1)
This of course flatly contradicts the picture painted by YouGov recently, which has suggested that the Lib Dems are roughly level-pegging with the Greens on around 6% or 7%, and only just barely ahead of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Most of the difference can probably be explained by data collection method - YouGov are an online firm, while ICM (at least in these polls) use telephone fieldwork.
If ICM are closer to the mark, it's hard to say whether it's good news for the SNP or not. Assuming the Lib Dems are proving more resilient than expected in England, then that further increases the chances of a hung parliament, which is obviously exactly what we want. But on the other hand there must be at least some kind of correlation between the Lib Dems' fortunes north and south of the border, and if they start to do too well it might threaten the SNP's chances in one or two of the more difficult target seats. Then there's the issue of which party takes third place in the next House of Commons, which is not only psychologically important, but might also affect speaking rights in the chamber (for example at Prime Minister's Questions).