For all the heat and light – the latest polling numbers in Scotland continue to show a huge wave of support for the SNP in this Westminster election.
While it feels like the Scottish party leaders have been debating each other to death – I know it feels like that in Scotland – with TV debates taking place day after day – the polls continue to paint the same picture.
In fact – in recent days the polls only seem to be going in one direction – towards the SNP with the latest TNS numbers giving an outlier 52% to the nationalists.
Elections guru Professor John Curtice is not surprised. He points to the 45% support for the SNP at the 2011 Holyrood elections where the nationalists gained a working majority. To the 45% for independence last year – and now to the average 46 to 47% rating for the SNP in this years poll.
Last years #indyref proved that Scottish politics looks nothing like the debate taking place on a UK wide basis. Anyone in the rest of the UK watching this year’s TV debates will have seen that.
The launch of the UK wide Labour manifesto this week caused some discomfort for Scottish Labour. Miliband’s fiscal message was markedly different to the notes Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is trying to chime.
And the Tory posters with Miliband in Salmond or Sturgeons pocket only do one thing in Scotland – and that’s not to help Labour there either.
So are we to conclude that there is an inexorable movement towards Scottish independence. Maybe.
But another recent poll shows that most Scots do not favour a second referendum on independence this side of 2020.
So what is going on?
Certainly it appears the surge in SNP membership and the wider effects of #indyref have pushed SNP support to a higher base.
But with key powers still reserved to Westminster – it is clear something else is going on.
With decisions over welfare, Trident, Barnett Formula, most fiscal power and a future EU referendum still in London – Scots look likely to vote for the option most of them would have preferred last year – Devo Max.
That third option was not on the ballot paper in September last year – but safely within the UK for the moment – it is the option many Scots will vote for and the SNP is viewed as the best way to deliver it.
This article was originally posted in the Huffington Post