What numbers would you expect from an opinion poll that the Times are portraying as superb for Labour and an unmitigated disaster for the SNP? I suspect you'd be a tad surprised to hear that they put the SNP on course for their best general election performance in history? Well, that's exactly what they show. You can only really laugh at the newspaper's breathless attempts to help its readers appreciate the sheer scale of the SNP's 'collapse' - "the SNP, on 32 per cent support, are now 2 percentage points behind Labour on 34 per cent — a direct reversal of MORI’s findings only three months ago." So a change fully within the standard margin of error over a period of a mere quarter-of-a-year - yes, this is an implosion of truly apocalyptic proportions we're talking about here.
To be fair, of course, there was a YouGov poll in Scotland on Sunday yesterday that would have justified every bit of the Times spin. You can just imagine Jenny Hjul in the editorial meeting plaintively asking "why did we have to get landed with frigging Ipsos-Mori?"
These polls are of course utterly irreconcilable - so which is the accurate one? As a natural pessimist, instinct tells me that the position can't possibly be quite as rosy for the SNP as Ipsos-Mori paints, but on the other hand their figures aren't being conjured out of thin air. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes, and given the premature gloating from the likes of Kenny Farquharson over the weekend, I suspect the SNP would settle for that.