I gather that the editor of a political website called Electoral Gambling (or some such title) mused the other day that local council by-election results may cast some doubt on the extent of the SNP surge reported by the opinion polls. He doesn't half pick his moments, does he? Here is the result of yesterday's local by-election in the heart of Gordon Brown's constituency...
Kirkcaldy East by-election result (22nd January) :
SNP 47.3% (+10.9)
Labour 35.3% (-14.7)
Conservatives 7.2% (+1.2)
Greens 4.1% (+4.1)
UKIP 3.8% (+3.8)
Liberal Democrats 1.3% (-1.5)
Technically it was an SNP hold, even though Labour comfortably outpolled the SNP in the ward last time around - it's one of those paradoxes thrown up by the STV electoral system.
The swing from Labour to the SNP was just under 13% - measured from the baseline of the 2012 local elections, in which the SNP were already 1% ahead of Labour nationally. If we "just for a bit of fun" extrapolate the swing on a Scotland-wide basis, it would put the SNP ahead by a whopping 27% margin - which, as it happens, is uncannily similar to the 28% gap reported by this week's Ipsos-Mori poll.