The Scottish subsample from the new Britain-wide Survation poll shows something quite rare and exotic - a Tory lead. The figures are: Conservatives 36%, SNP 33%, Labour 21%, Liberal Democrats 10%. Survation's subsamples are particularly tiny, and the Tory lead can be explained by the fact that there are too many Tory voters from June in the sample. By contrast, the SNP's sizeable advantage over Labour can't be dismissed quite so easily - there are too few respondents who recall voting Labour in June, but there are also too few who recall voting SNP.
Meanwhile, a new Scottish subsample from YouGov, which unlike Survation's is probably weighted correctly, puts the SNP into the 40s for the first time since the general election. The full figures are: SNP 40%, Labour 26%, Conservatives 23%, Liberal Democrats 5%, Greens 4%, UKIP 1%.
It seems to me there are grounds for cautious optimism here. Thirteen subsamples out of the twenty conducted since the election have shown the SNP ahead of Labour. Eleven out of twenty have given the SNP an outright lead, with seven putting Labour ahead. Survation's new subsample is only the second one to put the Tories in front. As the Tories have been third most of the time, it seems highly unlikely that they hold the lead - it looks very much like an SNP v Labour battle at the moment, and it also increasingly looks like the SNP have the upper hand.
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Stephen Daisley has today continued his determined quest to make himself the laughing-stock of linguists throughout the world. There may be continued debate over whether Scots should be regarded as a language in its own right or as a dialect of English, but nobody who understands the subject - literally nobody - describes Scots as "slang English" or an "accent".
Actually, I do have another question as well. Stephen is well known for regarding himself as a "Zionist", to such an extent that he once penned an article that referred to the 1967 invasion of Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem as "the liberation". (Seriously.) So what I'm wondering is this. If Stephen had been around more than a century ago when Hebrew was a dead language but was in the process of being artificially revived, would he have advised people not to bother with it and to learn a "real language" that might be of some use in a job interview? I mean, if enough people had taken that attitude, self-evidently Hebrew would not currently be the dominant language in the State of Israel. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing, Stephen?