Here’s the latest Newsnight Index poll and the YouGov Nowcast poll.
I averaged them, perhaps invalid, but polls are a snapshot with error margin, so probably gives a good idea of state of play.
Net out Sinn Fein and the Speaker leaves 644 voting maximum, so 323 minimum necessary for single party overall majority or voting deal combined majority, in coalition, confidence and supply or informal vote-by-vote, issue-by-issue basis.
Neither Ed Miliband nor David Cameron are remotely likely to have an overall seat majority as single party.
Any way you slice it – since SNP won’t do any deal with or vote with the Tories – Ed Miliband can’t ignore the SNP, whether Labour is the largest or second largest party.
If he leads the largest party, his choice is either minority government – with huge risk – or deal with SNP. If he’s not the largest party, his choice is either let the Tories in or deal with the SNP.
Quite simply, the SNP – with the help of Plaid and Greens as bloc - can make him PM on either outcome.
Since coalition is firmly ruled out, his options on an SNPbloc/Labour deal are therefore confidence and supply – a pre-deal delivering support on negotiated conditions – or informal issue-by-issue, vote-by-vote haggling with SNP bloc.
Nicola has made her pre-deal conditions and voting intentions abundantly clear. Stewart Hosie expertly analysed the various options today on the Daily Politics, eventually in the face of an increasingly agitated Andrew Neil on Trident/NATO aspect.
The Referendum and the opposition to Scotland’s independence has always centred on defence, (see link below) the nuclear deterrent and Trident, as I noted some years ago. We didn’t win our freedom on September 18th 2014, but now Scotland is playing the Westminster game on their ground – but fully democratically and constitutionally on our terms with our democratic voting independence.