The recent Survation poll a couple of weeks back showed that voting intention in favour of the SNP was of such a monumental scale that you could forgive Opposition strategists, spinners and door knockers if they weren’t exactly relishing the upcoming Holyrood campaign. 

The SNP have turned themselves into a brutally effective electoral machine. Indeed at roughly the same point in the electoral cycle ahead of the 2011 election the SNP found themselves trailing Labour by 11 points. The Conservatives, incidentally, are not up nor down since that time.  

This imminent electoral dominance by the SNP poses the question: are we set for another referendum in the next couple of years?

The answer kind of has to be Yes – one way or another the SNP are going to have to manufacture a referendum over the course of the next parliament if they find that come May they have another majority.

But, this isn’t necessarily what people want. When asked about their priorities in the Survation poll those who took part wanted the next Scottish Government to prioritise: health, the economy and the cost of living. Only 7% of those asked viewed independence as a priority. 

The conclusion we would draw is that people want the SNP but they don’t want them to pursue independence. The SNP are going to find themselves back in power with the help of votes from people who do not support independence. And when the time comes for a second referendum these same voters will, again, vote No. 

So while the governance of our country suffers without a strong Opposition so to will the SNP’s hopes of winning a second referendum. At this point I would think that the high heid yins in the SNP must miss a stronger Opposition to give them just a little bit more political cover.