Ferries, the NHS, police numbers, the school attainment gap, strikes - by most measures the SNP really isn’t great at governing to say the least.

Yet it remains an unstoppable electoral force as recent polls show. How? How does a party govern poorly but poll strongly? The answer is two-fold. The SNP has consistently been able to measure itself against the chaotic madness of consecutive Tory governments - by which standard almost anything looks stable and consistent. It’s also caught a flat-footed Scottish Labour Party in a constitutional headlock.

While Keir Starmer beats the daylights out of the Tories in England, there’s much weaker movement for Anas Sarwar in Scottish polls. Simple electoral mathematics explain why. The No vote is split between Tories, Labour and LibDems; while the Yes vote is fundamentally captured by one party, the SNP. With Scotland roughly divided evenly along Yes-No lines, the SNP has endless reserves of support to draw upon.

Scottish Tories face annihilation at the next Westminster election, and the SNP enjoys a thumping lead. The only way Labour can break through in Scotland, as it has in England, is to reimagine its position on the constitution. The endless Ulster unionist-style ‘No’ to another referendum does Labour no favours. It’s a drag on polling.

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