Three major Scottish institutions today join forces (well, two major Scottish institutions plus Better Nation) to start a regular monthly series of polls, running at least up to the independence referendum. The other two are the Daily Record, who today report on the independence numbers (Yes: 39, No: 48, or Yes: 45, No 55 if the don’t knows are excluded), and 5 Million Questions, based at Dundee University, who are providing the analysis for them.

The data comes from Survation, a BPC member company, and is (of course) based on a ~1,000 representative sample of Scottish voters. Everyone involved has the option for other questions (I’ve got one more I’ll be writing up later this week), and we’ll be offering a crowdfunding option shortly if you have burning questions in mind. Organisations wishing to take out questions should contact Survation – the omnibus format means there’s room for many more to be asked.

Each month we’ll be doing a Holyrood voting intention as well. So, without further ado, here are those numbers. Changes are to the 2011 result (with those results rounded to avoid false precision), and seat numbers are derived from Weber Shandwick’s Scotland Votes site – that will be the case until we have the capacity to do a seat predictor ourselves.

Parties Constituency Region Total
Vote share (+/-) Seats (+/-) Vote share (+/-) Seats (+/-) Seats (+/-) %
SNP 45 (±0) 44 (-9) 40 (-4) 15 (-1) 59 (-10) 45.7
Labour 34 (+2) 24 (+9) 28 (+2) 17 (-5) 41 (+4) 31.8
Conservative 13 (-1) 3 (±0) 11 (-1) 8 (-4) 11 (-4) 8.5
Liberal Democrats 5 (-3) 2 (±0) 7 (+2) 5 (+2) 7 (+2) 5.4
Scottish Greens 8 (+4) 10 (+8) 10 (+8) 7.8
Others 3 (+2) 0 6 (-3) 1 (±0) 1 (±0) 0.8

I’ll be honest, I’m surprised that such a small change in the first vote figures should lead to nine constituency losses for the SNP. Having sought to avoid false precision, though, the rounding does marginally bring down the level of change here (i.e. Labour would be up 2.3%, not 2% etc). But one of these seats has flipped already (Dunfermline), and there were a lot of other pretty narrow constituency wins for the SNP which this projection would see flip: Edinburgh Southern, Edinburgh Central, Clydebank and MilngaviePaisley, Kirkcaldy, Aberdeen CentralGlasgow Shettleston, and the closest 2011 result, Glasgow Anniesland. I’m not really sure about Weber Shandwick’s calculations for some of those, notably Clydebank and Milngavie and also Aberdeen Central, but so be it.

The two other surprising results would be the Lib Dems being up a little but still being beaten by the Greens on the second vote. Again, much as I’d like to see a Parliament full of Greens, I suspect the party’s ground campaign remains too weak to support quite this level of triumph: probably three in Lothian, two each in Glasgow and Highlands, plus one each in North East Scotland and Mid Scotland & Fife, and one in either South or West. Quite the haul.

And in terms of who would form the next Scottish Government, an SNP-led administration would seem inevitable on those numbers, either a numerically stronger minority than the 2007-2011 period or a coalition with their pick of any one of the three smaller parties.

Clearly all of this is over the event horizon of the independence referendum, so it’s just a bit of fun. But for the SNP to be looking strong for a third term despite the coordinated fire they’re taking in the referendum debate is still quite extraordinary: it’s not hyperbole to say that they do look to have forged themselves into the default party of government at Holyrood. More next month!