The National:

TODAY’S Survation/Sunday Post poll found that the SNP is on course to win a narrow overall majority of five, with a large pro-independence majority of 27. Their sub-headline, however, struck me as odd.

It claims: “… the Greens, not his [Alex Salmond’s] Alba Party, are the biggest threat to the SNP winning a majority.”

A version of this argument is, at this point, well-rehearsed. There has been plenty of debate in the Yes movement about whether Alba will win pro-independence seats, or cost them, and about whether Alba will be the difference between an SNP overall majority and a hung Parliament. Similar arguments were made in 2016 about the Scottish Greens.

But how much truth is there to the statement that the Greens, or indeed the Alba Party, are the "biggest threat" to an overall SNP majority?

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This really boils down to whether it’s more realistic for the SNP to win a majority via the constituency or regional list votes.

Let’s assume the SNP hold all 59 of their 2016 constituencies, which they are comfortably on course to do. They would need to win 6 list seats to form a majority. To win those six seats through the regional list, the party would need to outdo its 2016 performance by two seats.

For the SNP to have won six or more list seats in 2016, it would have had to win a higher proportion of the list vote than its actual constituency vote in every region except Lothian, where around 37% of the list vote would have won an additional seat.

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That ranges from 0.1% higher in Highlands and Islands – where the party now needs to contend with the independent Andy Wightman (above), as well as the Scottish Greens and Alba Party for regional list votes – to a deeply unrealistic 9.2% higher and overall 55.2% of the list vote in Mid Scotland and Fife.

It’s very unlikely that the SNP can win enough regional list votes to achieve an overall majority on that basis without winning more constituencies thanks to a similarly higher constituency vote share.

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The SNP are currently second in fourteen constituencies, nine of which can be won with SNP gains of fewer than 2000 votes, and eleven of which are technically marginals (with a majority of less than 10% of the vote).

Winning Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie’s seat and Scotland’s most marginal, would require the SNP winning an additional 109 votes (0.32% of the vote), and would not cost the SNP any list seats.

Winning Edinburgh Central, held by the outgoing Ruth Davidson (below) and contested for the SNP by Angus Robertson, can be won with 610 votes (1.79% of the vote), and would also cost the SNP zero list seats compared to 2016.

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The SNP could also flip Aberdeenshire West with 900 votes (2.56% of the vote), Edinburgh Southern with 1,123 (2.94%), and Eastwood with 1,610 (4.44%), without losing a single regional list seat.

An SNP majority could be won with as few as 719 votes in two constituencies. A hefty majority with as few as 4352. Compare that to the roughly 16,500 regional list votes the SNP would have needed to win a narrow majority in 2016 – which would have almost certainly had to come with a higher constituency vote and more constituency seats anyway.

Neither the Scottish Greens nor the Alba Party present the biggest obstacle to an SNP majority.

The SNP can win a majority on constituency votes alone, and some polls suggest it will. Those constituencies are held by Labour and the Conservatives – it is those parties standing in the way of an SNP majority.