In case you're wondering, the title of this blogpost is merely a fond tribute to a characteristically barking mad anti-SNP headline in the Express yesterday. Nevertheless, it's quite true that the last 24 hours of polling have been pretty brutal as far as the Tories are concerned. YouGov polls in Wales and London have shown Labour's already substantial lead in both places increasing slightly (and with the Tories further behind than they were in 2015). There was also a thunderbolt Britain-wide YouGov poll last night which suggested the race had moved firmly into hung parliament territory.
Britain-wide voting intentions (YouGov) :
Conservatives 42% (-1)
Labour 39% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-2)
SNP / Plaid Cymru 5% (+1)
UKIP 4% (n/c)
Greens 2% (n/c)
The SNP lead the Tories by 42% to 28% in the Scottish subsample. That's better for the SNP and worse for the Tories than the previous two YouGov subsamples, but only very, very slightly. It's more than a little frustrating not to find clearer evidence that the Tories' extraordinary tumble across Britain has been replicated in Scotland. Even the Ipsos-Mori poll yesterday didn't really help in that respect, because there were no recent baseline figures to measure from.
It's still a bit of struggle to get to grips with YouGov's seats projection model, which also provides daily percentages for the popular vote. Today's update puts the Tories on 42% and Labour on 38% - if that can be regarded as a de facto poll, it may indicate that the position has stabilised for now. The SNP's projected seats total has decreased from 51 to 47, which presumably means that the most recent sampling was either a bit less favourable for the SNP or a bit more favourable for the Tories. If so, that may just be random sampling fluctuation, of course.
The seats projection has a huge margin of error, with YouGov only saying they are 95% confident that the SNP will fall somewhere between 35 and 54 seats. That's a timely reminder of just how many current SNP seats may be vulnerable if the current polling estimates are overstating the party, or if differential turnout rears its ugly head. It's also worth making the point that YouGov's central projection of 47 seats includes Orkney and Shetland, which stretches credibility somewhat. The projection model does use actual polling in each constituency, but fills in any gaps in the small sample with respondents from other constituencies, and that's probably what is going wrong in the Northern Isles. You can't assume that a 35-year-old, No-voting, Remain-voting male in a middle income bracket who lives in Lerwick is likely to choose the same party as someone from the same demographic groups who lives in, say, Dingwall. The political culture in Orkney and Shetland is radically different, and I'm not sure either YouGov or Ashcroft are taking sufficient account of that (although obviously I would be delighted to be proved wrong).
Last week, Panelbase overhauled their methodology to make it much more similar to ICM's, and thus make it considerably more Tory-friendly. In spite of that, their new poll today tells a familiar tale in terms of the direction of travel...
Britain-wide voting intentions (Panelbase) :
Conservatives 44% (-4)
Labour 36% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 7% (n/c)
SNP 5% (n/c)
UKIP 5% (+1)
Greens 3% (+1)
* * *
A couple of people have emailed me to ask why I'm ignoring the "Ashcroft constituency polling". For clarity, there isn't any Ashcroft constituency polling in this campaign - he's instead using a projection model similar to YouGov's.