The dearth of polling data since the general election has been almost unbelievable. YouGov's daily polls ground to a complete halt from May 8th onwards, and as far as I can see Survation's poll immediately after election day is the only voting intention poll we've had from any firm until today. OK, I know the pollsters have been feeling chastened after their second "Waterloo" in twenty years, but this is getting ridiculous - it's no exaggeration to say that we're moving into the period where the next general election could be won and lost (look at what happened to the Tories in the months after the 1992 election), and public opinion is barely being tested.
As far as the state of play in Scotland is concerned, all we've had to go on is the Survation subsample, and a full-scale Scottish YouGov poll that only probed voting intentions in a very indirect way. Both seemed to indicate that the SNP may have further increased its support. That impression is bolstered today by YouGov, who have finally broken their drought by publishing a Britain-wide voting intention poll. The Scottish subsample shows -
SNP 56% (+6)
Labour 20% (-4)
Conservatives 15% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-3)
UKIP 3% (+1)
Greens 1% (n/c)
Percentage changes are from the actual result of the general election. Of course individual subsamples are not especially reliable, and I wouldn't normally highlight one on its own, but as it's literally all we have to go on at the moment, it's probably worth making an exception.
YouGov have naturally changed their methodology to introduce weighting by 2015 recalled vote, but I'm not clear whether they're still taking special care to make the Scottish subsample representative in its own right, as they were in the months leading up to the election. Annoyingly (and inexplicably given the circumstances), the SNP are suddenly being lumped in with 'others' in the part of the datasets which show whether each party's 2015 voters have been upweighted or downweighted. It certainly looks as if the SNP are being upweighted - although perhaps that isn't surprising, given that most of YouGov's pre-election subsamples underestimated Nicola Sturgeon's party, something that now has to be corrected for.
There are two particularly fascinating supplementary questions in the poll. A grand total of 65% of respondents in Scotland think that it is either "almost certain" or "more likely than not" that Scotland will become an independent country within the next TEN YEARS. Even in England and Wales, 51% of respondents take the same view. But there is a much sharper divergence between Scotland and the rest of Britain on the question of how Labour should position itself in future - by a margin of 41% to 24%, respondents in Scotland think that Labour should move to the left rather than "the centre" (the latter is presumably code for the right, as in many ways Labour's current positioning is already centre-right). In England and Wales, there is a more than 2-1 majority in favour of Labour moving to "the centre".
How do Labour square that circle, if they decide to go down a Blairite path to pursue "aspirational" English voters? I can only think of two ways - either a) give up on the idea of recovering in Scotland and accept the inevitability of any Labour government being reliant on the SNP, or b) make the Scottish Labour party a totally independent entity.