The Scottish office of PR consultants Weber Shandwick have released a 'Poll of Polls', which shows that the SNP would emerge from the Scottish parliament elections as the largest party with 51 seats, some 7 more than Labour.
In the constituency vote the poll puts Labour on 31%, SNP on 36%, Conservatives on 13%, and Liberal Democrats on 15%. For the regional vote Labour are on 29%, SNP on 35%, Conservative on 12%, Liberal Democrats on 14% and the Green Party on 4%.
This would result in 44 Labour MSPs, 51 SNP, 14 Conservatives and 18 Liberal Democrats. But the interesting thing is that the current LIB/LAB coalition would only be three seats short of a majority.
Weber Shandwick director of public affairs Moray Macdonald said: “If this poll mirrors the actual result on election day then the only thing that will be clear is that we may not know who will be in power for quite some time.
"There is a real possibility that although the SNP may have a larger share of the popular vote, and maybe even more MSPs, that Labour and the Lib Dems could just scrape enough MSPs to continue in coalition. If the SNP and Liberals can’t agree on a referendum on independence then this outcome is a very real possibility."Under this result the smaller parties would fair badly with only one Green and one SSP member returned. Weber Shandwick Public calculated the poll using an average of the most recent opinion polls by six different polling organisations.
By any stretch of the imagination, the only Party to emerge from this Poll with any credit is the SNP, but they will be horrified by the narrowness of the seat allocation. The Conservative showing is very disappointing, although I suspect that it underestimates Conservative support to an extent. There are no doubt some very shy Tories in Scotland!