The last set of Scottish local elections five years ago heralded a downturn in the SNP's fortunes and a boost for both the Tories and Labour, which was followed up in the general election shortly afterwards by the loss of 21 of the SNP's 56 seats, leading to an independence referendum being kicked into the long grass. We're fortunate this time that the local elections are self-contained and not the first part of a two-act drama, because there is some polling evidence that history may be repeating itself to some extent - ie. the SNP may be dipping and Labour may be recovering, although luckily the Tories are going backwards on this occasion.
Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election (BMG / Herald):
Liberal Democrats 5%
I haven't included percentage changes, because it looks to me as if there's a 10-point drop in the SNP's vote since the last BMG poll a year ago, and yet the BMG spokesman in the Herald piece says it's only a 6-point drop. I'm not sure of the explanation for the discrepancy, but either way it's a substantial shift and takes the SNP back down to roughly the share of support they had at the 2017 general election. The hope must be that margin of error effects are exaggerating the slippage - and indeed the recent Survation poll reported a much smaller drop in SNP support for Westminster.
Nevertheless, this is a massive wake-up call for any independence supporter who is more interested in fighting the SNP or Alba at the local elections, rather than our real opponents in the unionist parties. It's imperative that pro-independence voters give their top rankings in the ballot to all of the pro-indy candidates in their ward. You can guarantee that Tory supporters won't be mucking around by only ranking one candidate or by spoiling their ballot papers. We would be mad to let the unionists start with an in-built advantage.
There are also independence numbers in the poll, which are identical to the results of the recent YouGov and Survation polls -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
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