Crikey, what a day. No sooner had I finished pointing out the significance of the fact that only non-online pollsters have been registering an SNP vote of more than 50%, along comes an online pollster registering an SNP vote of more than 50%. This is the monthly Survation poll for the Record -
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (Survation, 22nd-27th April) :
SNP 51.2% (+4.1)
Labour 25.6% (-0.5)
Conservatives 14.3% (-1.2)
Liberal Democrats 5.4% (+1.4)
UKIP 2.0% (-2.3)
Greens 1.4% (-0.8)
The point about the divergence between online and non-online polls still holds true, though, because even 51.2% from Survation falls short of the 54% reported by TNS earlier today, and also the 52% reported by Ipsos-Mori in their most recent poll (which was way back in January, so logically the figure would probably be significantly higher in an Ipsos-Mori poll conducted now).
The general direction of travel now is blindingly obvious - all four polling firms that have produced full-scale Scottish polls in the last few weeks have shown a record SNP lead, and in most cases the previous record has been broken by quite some distance. Survation have actually only broken their own record by 1% - their poll in December had the SNP ahead by 24%, although in retrospect that looks like an outlier. The strong impression that there has been substantial additional movement towards the SNP recently was also bolstered by the Ashcroft constituency polls, which showed further swings across the board in seats that had previously been surveyed.
It's also the case, of course, that half of the pollsters that have been active in April are now showing that an absolute majority of the electorate plan to vote for Nicola Sturgeon's party. That's a pretty startling position to find ourselves in with just ten days to go until the election. OK, the TNS fieldwork is a little out of date, but the Survation fieldwork isn't - it started last Wednesday and finished today. The 50% barrier may be a purely psychological one, but it's massive all the same - how many times have you heard a unionist politician or commentator attempt to downplay the significance of the SNP's mandate in 2011 by pointing out that less than 50% of voters backed the party? That simply may not be possible this time around - the moral authority of a manifesto that commands the support of an absolute majority of voters would be overwhelming. Only one other party in post-war Scottish history has achieved that feat, and it wasn't Labour.
Most important of all would be the unambiguous demonstration of majority support for the SNP's policy of full fiscal responsibility. If the incoming government (of either complexion) failed to respect that mandate by delivering enhanced devolution that goes well beyond the Smith proposals, the legitimacy of Westminster rule could quickly be called into question once again.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
There's about a million and one other things to say about both the Survation and TNS polls, but I've had a long day, so instead I'm going to buy you off with the long-awaited (sort of) return of the Poll of Polls. This update is based on the full-scale Survation and Panelbase polls (TNS is excluded because the fieldwork is too far out of date), plus thirteen Scottish subsamples from Britain-wide polls - five from YouGov, two from Populus, two from Survation, one from ComRes, one from ICM, one from Ashcroft, and one from Opinium.
Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :
SNP 47.7% (+4.1)
Labour 26.4% (+0.9)
Conservatives 15.1% (-1.0)
Liberal Democrats 6.0% (-1.6)
UKIP 2.3% (-1.0)
Greens 1.8% (-1.6)
(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.)