Well, it's only taken the best part of a month, but at last we have the first Scottish poll of the campaign - and it's a Panelbase poll in the Sunday Times. Better still, the fieldwork took place after Tuesday, so we don't have to put a question mark over the results due to the rigged debate on ITV. The trends are pretty much in line with what YouGov subsamples have been suggesting - ie. that the SNP vote has held up, that the Tory vote has sharply rebounded at the expense of the Brexit Party, that Labour have flatlined and that the Lib Dems have drifted downwards.
Scottish voting intentions for UK general election (Panelbase):
SNP 40% (+1)
Conservatives 28% (+7)
Labour 20% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 11% (-2)
The seats projection published in the Sunday Times suggests the SNP would take 41 seats on these figures, and that the Tories would hold 12, losing only Stirling. Because of the media's tendency to treat the last poll they saw as gospel, we're now going to hear the mantra that "the polls" show that the Scottish Tories have completely ridden out the storm and are going to hold their seats - and that'll be somewhat misleading to say the least. Whether the Tories hold seats depends not only on their own share of the vote but on the SNP's. Even if the Tory vote is exactly the same as it was in 2017, there'll still be a net swing from Tory to SNP if the SNP's own vote increases. And, indeed, Panelbase suggests the SNP's vote is up three points on 2017. But here's the thing - Panelbase have not been the most favourable pollster for the SNP in recent times. The last five Panelbase polls before tonight had the SNP somewhere between 37% and 39%, whereas the last three YouGov polls have had the SNP on either 42% or 43%. If we imagine for the sake of argument that YouGov are closer to being right, that could mean there'd be a swing of as much as 4% from Tory to SNP, and that would bring considerably more than one Tory seat into play for the SNP.
And in any case, all of this is assuming a uniform national swing, which is very unlikely to happen. As Professor Curtice himself points out in the Sunday Times piece, if Panelbase are basically right but there is a local swing that is 2% greater, another four Tory seats could fall.
There's also an independence question in the Panelbase poll, and it shows Yes support continuing to hold firm at an elevated level. 49% support for independence is several points higher than the average in Panelbase polls last year, and the one-point drop since the last poll is statistically insignificant.
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 49% (-1)
No 51% (+1)
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