Extremist anti-independence propaganda organisation "Scotland in Union" have released their latest Survation poll, and not for the first time it's backfired on them spectacularly by suggesting that the SNP are set to make sweeping gains from the unionist parties in any snap general election. What's new, though, is that it also shows the Tories returning to their once-familiar third place - and given the current seepage of Tory votes to the Brexit Party and elsewhere, it would be a brave person who predicts that they won't be staying there.
Scottish voting intentions for Westminster (Survation):
SNP 41% (+1)
Labour 24% (+1)
Conservatives 22% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 8% (n/c)
On a uniform swing, this would see the SNP make a mammoth net gain of 16 seats, taking them to 51 - not all that far away from their 2015 high watermark of 56. The Tories would be reduced to rubble, losing 10 of their 13 seats. And Labour would be practically wiped out, with Ian Murray once again the last man standing in Edinburgh South (assuming he's still in the party by the time the election comes around). The Lib Dems would break even and retain their current 4 seats.
As with any "Scotland in Union" poll, the independence figures can be safely ignored because a non-standard question was used to get the desired result (although of course that won't stop the unionist media breathlessly reporting them as if they actually mean something). We've known for many years that asking poll respondents whether they want to "remain in the United Kingdom" produces more favourable results for the anti-independence cause than the standard question. Why that would be the case is anyone's guess - I sometimes wonder if there's a degree of confusion about what the 'United Kingdom' actually is, and if some respondents might wrongly assume they're being asked whether they want to retain the monarchy. But it's not worth worrying about, because we know from the experience of the 2014 referendum that standard independence polling is more accurate than these 'alternative' polls. The most recent standard polling continued to show Yes in the mid-40s or higher.
(And as I always point out, any poll that asks about 'leaving the UK' should not technically be considered an independence poll at all, because it's perfectly possible to leave the UK without becoming independent. We could leave the UK to become a crown dependency, or a freely associated state, or we could become part of another country.)
You can tell that "Scotland in Union" are a bit disappointed with the results of the question on when and if the next independence referendum should be held, because their spin is that not holding a referendum at all emerged as "the most popular option with 34% support". What that rather conveniently doesn't mention is that all the other options involved holding a referendum at some point, and the combined support for those pro-referendum options was 57% - which, I think you'll agree, is a rather larger number than 34%.