OK, here we go.
*puts on Canadian accent*
It's another terrrrr-ible night for the Conservatives.
Survation telephone poll of GB-wide voting intentions :
Conservatives 43% (-5)
Labour 34% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 8% (n/c)
UKIP 4% (n/c)
SNP 3% (-1)
Greens 2% (n/c)
Plaid Cymru 1% (n/c)
The SNP's 3% share is a little better than it looks - they were very close to being rounded up to 4% rather than rounded down to 3%. In the Scottish subsample, they have a decent-enough lead over the Tories of 41% to 26%. In terms of the gap, that's actually pretty similar to last week's subsample, which had the SNP ahead by 47% to 31%. Remember that Survation's subsamples are particularly tiny (only 65 respondents in this case after the turnout filter was applied), so we can expect huge variations from week to week which will often be completely random and meaningless.
So we now have three GB-wide polls conducted since the public had a chance to digest the controversial pledges in the Tory manifesto. The message from two of the three is absolutely unambiguous - there has been a telling swing from Tory to Labour which has brought the Tory lead down to its lowest level of the campaign. The fact that one of those two polls was conducted online and the other by telephone makes it seem even more likely that a genuine shift in opinion has been detected. The picture is admittedly complicated by the fact that the third poll (the online Survation poll) technically showed an increase in the Tory lead from 11 points to 12. However, the previous 11 point lead was several weeks ago, and even at the time stuck out like a sort thumb as a potential rogue poll. In truth, a 12 point lead is on the low side for this campaign, and is well within the margin of error of the 9 points leads. It's therefore perfectly consistent with the notion that the gap has probably narrowed significantly in recent days.
The big question is whether it will stay narrowed. What's happening at the moment reminds me very much of the period in the independence referendum when the No-friendly pollsters (TNS, YouGov and Ipsos-Mori) very suddenly showed the No lead dropping sharply. We reached a crossroads where one of two things was about to happen - either the momentum would prove irresistible and carry Yes to victory (or to a very narrow defeat), or people would for the first time consider the possibility that Yes might win, get very scared, and draw back from the brink. As we all know, it turned out to be the latter, helped along by an unprecedented 'shock and awe' campaign from the London-based broadcast media. I do wonder if the same thing might happen now. Even though the chances of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister in a hung parliament are still extremely modest, people may start taking them a little more seriously, which will make all the old scare stories somewhat more potent once again. If so, this weekend may actually help the Tories rather than harm them. Let's hope not.
We know we'll get at least one more poll tomorrow (Monday), and that'll be a Wales-only poll from YouGov. Professor Roger Scully has already revealed that it's going to show something pretty remarkable, and I don't think he's the sort to lead us up the garden path. As the previous two polls in the series have shown Conservative leads, I think to qualify as remarkable the new poll would have to show either a big swing back to Labour, or an absolutely enormous Tory lead. As the latter would be totally against the prevailing GB-wide trend, my strong guess is that we'll see more evidence of a Tory collapse, and Labour reclaiming their familiar position of dominance in Wales. But I may be completely wrong - time will tell.
LAST CALL TO REGISTER TO VOTE : Please check your broom cupboards and attics for anyone who may not have registered to vote - they now have less than 24 hours to do so. It's really quick and easy to do it, but if they miss the deadline they'll be powerless to stop the Tories in June. The estimates for the number of people who still haven't registered are absolutely terrifying, and they are disproportionately people who would be likely to vote against a Tory government. If you find someone who needs to register, send them to this link, and they'll be sorted in a matter of minutes.