Hmmm. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but judging from this lengthy outpouring on Twitter yesterday, it's just possible that self-styled superstar "risk assessor" Neil Edward Lovatt wasn't entirely happy about seeing a challenge on this blog to his superstitious belief that the betting markets are some kind of infallible God of Prediction.
"Looks like @JamesKelly never learns! He's blogged about me and odds again. I'm shredding it live right now!"
"So that's @JamesKelly's blog shredded. I'll probably edit it a little but it does the job on a JK botched job"
"yes I think his blog must be struggling again, another fundraiser on it's way?"
"3 bad examples out of hundreds of successes, many more than polls. He's a joke."
"Yes I shredded him just today :)"
"Yes James asks for donations from his readers."
"Worth it, it's actually a decent challenge to the betting markets. I used it shredding James Kelly"
"Whilst I've shredded @JamesKelly's blog he got owned in his comments section. :)"
"No time for the guy, talks nonsense and ridicules anyone that disagrees and then claims offence. Absolute zoomer who charges!"
"Puerile and pseudo intellectual, and bad at it. That's our James."
As a hard-core Jim Murphy fan (he even used "that" twibbon), Neil had better start hoping that I'm right about his superstition, because the betting markets have been moving gradually but pretty relentlessly in the SNP's direction over recent weeks. For example, the Betfair exchange is currently "predicting" that the SNP will win more seats than Labour, and that their final tally will be somewhere between 26 and 35 (anything above 29 would of course be an absolute majority of Scottish seats). Meanwhile, Alex Salmond is the equivalent of a 1/5 odds-on favourite to snatch the Gordon constituency from the Liberal Democrats.
Why is this happening? I suspect there comes a point when even wealthy gamblers south of the border can't ignore the elephant in the room - ie. the sheer consistency of polling data giving the SNP a gigantic lead with less than four months to go. There have been three Britain-wide polls published over the last 24 hours, which have produced the following Scottish subsample figures...
Populus : SNP 41%, Labour 25%, Conservatives 20%, Liberal Democrats 9%, UKIP 3%, Greens 2%
Ashcroft : SNP 48%, Labour 24%, Conservatives 14%, Greens 8%, Liberal Democrats 4%, UKIP 3%
YouGov : SNP 43%, Labour 28%, Conservatives 16%, UKIP 7%, Liberal Democrats 3%, Greens 2%
The Ashcroft numbers are particularly encouraging as they come from the first telephone poll of the year, albeit admittedly the sample was much smaller than in the other two polls.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
Today's update of the Poll of Polls is based on the Scottish subsamples from seven GB-wide polls - four from YouGov, two from Populus, and one from Ashcroft.
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :
SNP 41.3% (+1.1)
Labour 25.9% (-0.3)
Conservatives 16.9% (+0.4)
UKIP 6.6% (+0.3)
Liberal Democrats 6.1% (-0.1)
Greens 3.1% (-1.1)
(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.)