Thanks to my namesake James on the previous thread for alerting me to the fact that the Lib Dems have leaked another of their internal constituency polls - this time East Dunbartonshire. The methodology used in these polls moves heaven and earth to produce artificially good results for the Lib Dems (ie. leading questions asked before the voting intention question, plus strict weighting by 2010 vote recall), so the fact that the SNP still find themselves in a 'statistical tie' in one of their very toughest target seats is pretty extraordinary.
East Dunbartonshire voting intentions (Lib Dem poll) :
Liberal Democrats 34.5%
On the face of it, this poll is also devastating for Labour, because some projections have suggested they could gain East Dunbartonshire, even if they lose a large number of seats to the SNP. However, it's possible they've suffered disproportionately from the Lib Dem-friendly methodology.
East Dunbartonshire is one of the seats Populus have been polling this week, so if that proves to be an Ashcroft poll it will make the real state of play a lot clearer. Let's put it this way - I strongly suspect the Lib Dems aren't really in the lead, even allowing for Jo Swinson's personal vote.
Presumably the reason for leaking the poll was to establish the Lib Dems as the "only way of stopping the SNP here" for propaganda purposes, but Ashcroft could well muddy the waters in that respect.