And this is one of those occasions where the headline tells you pretty much all I know so far. Once I track down the figures I'll update this post, but it looks like the SNP are polling higher than at the general election, and that No still have some kind of lead on the independence question.
More details to follow when available...
UPDATE : Having got out my magnifying glass to examine the front page of the Mail, I can now reveal that it's a Survation poll. END OF UPDATE.
UPDATE II : It's taken so long to get the full result of the poll that I've decided to put it in a fresh post. You can find it HERE.
In the meantime, the SNP's decision to vote to retain the full English ban on fox hunting is an interesting one, and it certainly seems to have caught the London media on the hop. I had thought they might hedge their bets by making it a free vote, and leaving it up to the consciences of individual MPs to decide whether the principle of not voting on genuinely English-only matters trumped the moral imperative of preventing animal cruelty. But I suppose if you're going to do something, you might as well do it full-bloodedly. I've seen a few suggestions that this "makes the case for EVEL", but you could just as easily argue that the Tories obliterated the case for EVEL a couple of weeks ago by using English votes to overturn a 56-3 Scottish majority on a Scotland-only bill, and then loudly cheering what they had just done.
The reality is that the fate of EVEL will not be decided by whether the SNP obediently adhere to some unwritten Code of Honour to Iain Martin's satisfaction, but by cold arithmetic. Without the DUP's support, the government are going to need iron discipline among Tory backbenchers to push it through.
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You've got to love the reaction of Adam "IT'S THE LAW!!!!" Tomkins to the SNP's decision -
"More posturing from the SNP: last week EVEL, this week foxes. It's just tactics, designed to irritate. Ignore them and don't rise to it"
1. Who exactly is Tomkins addressing here? The Scottish Tory masses?
2. How can you actually "ignore" a decision that will almost certainly swing the vote, and determine the law of the land? IT'S THE LAW, Adam!
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Alan Cochrane has resumed his quest for a long-overdue British Comedy Award -
"Yvette Cooper’s pathetic little retreat from ever again ‘allowing’ Labour to do a deal with Tories to prevent the break up of Britain just about sums up how devoid of principle that party now is"
Well, a man who used his book to boast about setting aside all journalistic integrity to "do whatever Darling asks" is certainly a leading authority on being "devoid of principle".
"Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander, John Reid, Frank Roy, Jackie Baillie and many, many others, with a host of Labour battle honours to their names, resisted the jibes from Alex Salmond and the vile insults from the Cybernats and fought alongside Tories and Liberal Democrats in a common cause. And many have already paid dearly for their efforts."
You really know this team of heroes is sorely lacking strength in depth when Frank Roy suddenly appears at number four after John Reid. Has it ever occurred to Cochrane to pause and reflect on WHY Labour MPs paid so dearly for their "efforts"?
"They were joined by countless thousands of Labour supporters who believed that stopping the separatists and their outrageous claims...was the number one priority. They accepted the risks but decided to ignore them because they believed that saving their country was their most important task."
Is there anyone who seriously believes, even for a moment, that Jim Murphy realised he was potentially sacrificing his career by climbing on top of Irn Bru crates and screaming at passers-by? He isn't fondly known as @Jim4Jim for nothing. Labour MPs and supporters did not "accept the risks" - they were utterly oblivious to the risks, and we have several excellent eye-witnesses to testify to that. They thought a No vote would be a win/win for them, and would ensure that a solid bloc of Scottish Labour MPs remained at Westminster for many years to come. How they would have acted if they had known they were committing career suicide can only be a matter of speculation, but it's hardly unreasonable to suppose that they might have thought twice about campaigning alongside the Tories, at the very least.
"This insulting attack is a demeaning attempt to curry favour with one-time Labour voters who’ve now switched the Nats. I don’t think for a second that it will win back more than tiny number but I’ll tell you what it will do – it will prove to those many non Labour, but massively pro-Union, voters who have been prepared to support Labour as a way of halting the SNP juggernaut that [they] should do so no longer."
So let me get this straight - tactical anti-SNP voting by Tory supporters was almost a total failure in May, and now it's going to be abandoned anyway? I call that a result. Cheers, Al.