Well, Labour supporters and assorted right-wing friends were able to enjoy the exotic sensation of being "only" 10% behind for a whole 24 hours before the hammerblow fell. Here is this month's Survation poll of Westminster voting intentions...
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (Survation, 12th-16th January) :
SNP 46% (-2)
Labour 26% (+2)
Conservatives 14% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+2)
UKIP 4% (n/c)
Greens 3% (+2)
It's important to stress that Survation are one of the firms that have introduced weighting by recalled referendum vote, which is one of the strongest predictors of Westminster vote. So Labour have no alibi here - No voters have been upweighted from 400 to 431 to bring them into line with their correct population share, but that has been rendered virtually irrelevant by the SNP's mind-boggling lead of 85% to 8% among Yes voters (who have been downweighted slightly).
Can Labour draw some minor comfort from the fact that the gap has narrowed by 4% since the last Survation poll, even though that still leaves them light-years behind? Not really. The problem for them is that the last poll saw a widening of the gap, so if we go back to the Survation poll from two months ago, it was almost identical to this one - the SNP are on exactly the same vote share now (46%) as they were then. That suggests there has been no slippage since the period when Ipsos-Mori famously showed the SNP ahead by 29%.
Of course Panelbase suggested a slightly more significant reduction in the SNP's lead, and if we only had those two polls to go on, we might conclude that there's a 50/50 chance that something has indeed changed. But as I pointed out last night, the Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls (and there hasn't exactly been a shortage of them) have completely failed to corroborate the Panelbase trend. Someone claimed in the comments section that narrower SNP leads have been more commonplace in subsamples of late. Not true. In fact, the opposite is true - we've been seeing bigger gaps somewhat more consistently. On that basis, the balance of probability would seem to lie heavily with Survation being closer to the truth, meaning that the SNP's enormous advantage is holding steady.
Incidentally, there is one important common factor between Survation and Panelbase, and that's the poor showing for the Tories. Cammo's mob do tend to get understated by Scottish polling, but there's certainly no sign whatever that they're going to make any progress from their dismal result in 2010. Back in the days when I could be bothered to read Ian Smart, I seem to recall him talking in his trademark oracular fashion about how the untold story of Scottish politics since 2011 has been the relentless march of the Tories. That "insight" is starting to look about as well-founded as his claim that the No campaign would coast to victory in Cumbernauld and Kilysth (and that the people here claiming to be planning to vote Yes were only "taking the p***").
The most interesting of Survation's supplementary questions asked for respondents' preferred election outcome. Annoyingly, the list of options wasn't anything like exhaustive, with the most obvious omission being the possibility of a minority government. However, the results still give us some indication of how much voters like the idea of each party being in government. Unsurprisingly, the most popular of the potential "junior partners" is the SNP, with a combined total of 44% wanting to see Nicola Sturgeon's party in coalition with either Labour or the Tories (even though the latter option has already been definitively ruled out). By contrast, just 13% are keen on the stomach-churning possibility of Nick Clegg remaining in power, as deputy to either Cameron or Miliband. And a mere 9% fancy the idea of Deputy PM Farage.
We also have Holyrood voting intention figures...
Constituency vote :
SNP 50% (-1)
Labour 26% (+1)
Conservatives 12% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 6% (+1)
UKIP 3% (+1)
Greens 3% (+2)
Regional list vote :
SNP 39% (-1)
Labour 23% (-1)
Conservatives 14% (n/c)
Greens 10% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+1)
UKIP 6% (-1)
SSP 1% (+1)
And once again the familiar pattern, with the biggest threat to the SNP proving to be their own supporters drifting to other parties on the list, perhaps on the incorrect assumption that the list vote is less important.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
This is one of the more credible updates of the Poll of Polls, because it's based on no fewer than two full-scale polls (from Panelbase and Survation) and seven subsamples (five from YouGov, one from Populus and one from ComRes). As before, I haven't been able to include the Greens, because we don't have the relevant information from Panelbase yet.
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :
SNP 42.9% (+1.6)
Labour 28.0% (-0.7)
Conservatives 15.0% (-0.8)
UKIP 5.4% (-0.8)
Liberal Democrats 5.0% (+1.4)
(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.)
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UPDATE : Political Betting's resident pub bore Carlotta Vance ("oh yes, Denis and Margaret would be laughing like drains, tee hee!") has this morning bizarrely ascribed a claim to me that I didn't make, knowing full well that I cannot set the record straight because, like virtually every other SNP supporter that posted on the site for long enough, I was randomly banned. Rest assured, Ms Vance, that I will not deny you the right to reply that you and your right-wing chums have denied me. But then, of course, if you're a regular reader of this blog, you've probably been posting here anyway - perhaps you're one of the mysterious influx of anonymous Rule Britannia! types that we've been so thrilled to welcome over the last 36 hours?
Incidentally, having got totally carried away with his assumptions about the significance of the Panelbase poll (it's that Murphy bounce! I knew it would come one day!), the headline today marking Mike Smithson's awkward climbdown in the light of the Survation numbers is something of a classic -
"Another Scottish poll gives a little bit of cheer to LAB but not that much"
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UPDATE II : And now the most glorious of ironies - Smithson has taken Carlotta's misrepresentation as the cue to cherry-pick three outlier Scottish subsample results in an attempt to rescue his fading hopes of a "Labour revival" narrative. He seems to have forgotten that he once banned Stuart Dickson for TWO YEARS for the heinous crime of posting Scottish subsamples.
One of his selection of subsamples, by the way, is a TNS-BMRB offering which shows the SNP jumping from third place last month to first place this month (and that's in spite of the fact that people who recalled voting SNP in 2010 were downweighted by two-thirds). Couldn't he "be arsed" to check the baseline numbers? Probably not.