After an insanely long wait of several weeks, we finally have the fourth bona fide full-scale Scottish poll of this campaign, and it comes from YouGov.
Scottish voting intentions for the UK general election :
SNP 42% (+1)
Conservatives 29% (+1)
Labour 19% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)
I can't find any sign of the fieldwork dates yet, but judging from the number of people who mentioned being interviewed by YouGov a couple of days ago, it's probably safe to assume that the poll is close to being bang up-to-date.
So what can we take from the numbers? They're not necessarily inconsistent with the impression of recent days (derived from anecdotal evidence and from the Scottish subsamples of GB-wide polls) that the SNP have bounced back somewhat after a ropey spell earlier in the campaign. Obviously a 1% increase is underwhelming and not statistically significant in itself, but the standard 3% margin of error is perfectly capable of disguising a bigger jump. We'll just have to await further polls for more information. In the meantime, we can take great heart from learning that the first poll conducted after 4th May has completely failed to detect any sign that the Tories generated significant additional momentum from the local election results, and ate deeper into the SNP's lead. There was always an obvious danger that they'd manage to do that, and the fact that they seemingly haven't may lead us to wonder whether we've now more or less reached Peak Tory - ie. the absolute limit of potential Tory support, from where they can only stand still or go backwards. Put it this way - if the Tories can't poll higher than this when they're pushing 50% in some UK polls, when will they ever?
It's worth remembering that of the three polling firms that produced Scottish polls earlier in the campaign, YouGov reported the lowest SNP share. That may have just happened by chance, or there may be a 'house effect' at play. If it's the latter, it's possible that the next polls from other firms will put the SNP as high as 44% or 45%. The bad news, though, is that Panelbase also reported a much higher Tory vote than YouGov did, so there's no particular reason to suppose that YouGov are underestimating the SNP's lead over the Tories - which ultimately is the most important thing in a first-past-the-post election.
Which leads me on to the big nagging worry - differential turnout. If the SNP's real lead on the ground is somewhere between 10% and 15%, there's a risk that will translate into a sub-10 lead on polling day (exactly as happened in the local elections), due to the party's main opponents being strongest among the demographic groups that are most likely to turn out to vote. We're going to need a Rolls Royce get-out-the-vote effort simply to achieve a result that properly reflects the state of public opinion. But the more positive way of looking at it is that it's all in our own hands - the prize of 45 seats or more (an overwhelming landslide by any standards) is there for the grabbing.
The indispensable first step in that process is to make sure that potential SNP voters are actually able to vote, and time is running out in that respect. If you know anyone (perhaps a young person) who you suspect is not on the electoral roll, don't delay in making an intervention - they can very quickly register by following this link. But they have to do it by Monday evening, or they'll be powerless to stop the Tories in June.