I missed yesterday’s Sunday Times, which is easy to do when it’s behind a paywall. Anyway, this afternoon (why not yesterday?) the SNP news released the following results from a poll the paper ran at the weekend with Real Radio, conducted by Panelbase. Incidentally, they’re new to me but look like they might understand the internet a little better than certain other pollsters.

First vote
SNP: 47% (+2%)
Labour: 32% (±0)
Conservative: 12% (-2%)
LibDem: 6% (-2%)

Second vote
SNP: 46% (+2%)
Labour: 28% (+2%)
Conservative: 11% (-1%)
Greens: 6% (+2%)
LibDem: 4% (-1%)

Here’s what the Scotland Votes site makes of that (click the wee image above for a graphic thereof):

SNP: 68 (-1)
Labour: 41 (+4)
Conservative: 11 (-4)
Green: 5 (+3)
LibDem: 3 (-2)
Ind: 1 (1)

(Changes are from May 2011)

Leaving aside the big picture for a second, the SNP’s predictions in their news release were totally different. They awarded themselves four more seats than Scotland Votes did, took five off Labour, and gave the Tories two more than predicted. The Nats also kept the Lib Dems on five despite a continued decline in their ratings, two more than Scotland Votes had for them, and had the Greens unchanged on two, three fewer than predicted despite a wee Green bump.

That kind of statistical fiddling isn’t just odd, unless they’ve got a better predictor that they’ve declined to identify, it’s unnecessary. The poll shows the Nats 2% up from their 2011 triumph on both votes, despite the shambles over equal marriage and an independence campaign so watered down that it’d be hard to see the difference if they won it. Being up still further now is an excellent story to tell. The fact that Labour have had a mini bounce too and would be making small wins, including a net of just one at the SNP’s expense, is pretty minor, overall, but it looks like someone in the SNP press office got a bit over-excited about this one. Keep the head, chaps!