Apologies for the uncharacteristically negative headline, but I couldn't resist. It was perhaps inevitable that with five Scottish by-elections taking place in the space of a week, one would prove to be less wonderful for the SNP than the other four. However, this isn't as bad a result as it looks, for reasons I shall explain in a moment.
Keith & Cullen by-election result (Moray Council):
Conservatives 41.5% (+8.8)
SNP 38.1% (-1.6)
Independent - Rob Barsby 12.7% (+3.1)
Liberal Democrats 7.7% (n/a)
The sizeable increase in the Tory vote should be taken with a pinch of salt, because the overall vote for independent candidates dropped sharply from around 28% to 13%. Moray is one of the parts of Scotland where the independent vote is often pretty much interchangeable with the Tory vote, so in theory that could explain the entire Tory increase. However, there's no equivalent alibi for the slight fall in SNP support, and this is obviously a sub-optimal result given that Moray is one of the Tory seats that the SNP are targeting in the general election.
On the other hand, it's dangerous to extrapolate from a low-turnout (34%) local by-election result to a general election - it may be that SNP supporters in Moray will be far more motivated to turn out for the latter. It should also be remembered that Moray is one of the most Brexit-friendly constituencies in the whole of Scotland, so even if the Tories do cling on to it, that doesn't necessarily mean the SNP won't gain other Tory seats where the conditions are far more favourable. For example, East Renfrewshire and Stirling both had very high Remain votes in 2016.
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I have two more constituency previews in today's edition of The National - this time it's Falkirk and Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk.
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Click here for a handy list of SNP election crowdfunders.