Project Fear is back – and threatens to plunge the whole UK into a last- minute change of heart at the ballot box.

The heavyweights of yesteryear have predicted calamity, mayhem, a match made in hell, a daily dose of blackmail and women turning into scorpions on the backs of frogs. Verily, these pestilences are set to visit themselves not just upon the forgotten northern province, but upon the very heart of cucumber-sandwich-munching Blighty itself.

Boris Johnson hath proclaimed that the democratically elected leader of the Scottish National Party – like King Herod of old – will ensure all baby boys of Bethlehem are slaughtered after victory on May 7 (unless I misunderstood). Supermarkets will surely soon predict food shortages if Labour accepts support from the evil SNP, banks will warn that non-core jobs must be shifted to mainland Europe, fresh-faced young men will appear outside the house of every pensioner in the land to explain that state pensions will soon be worthless, David Bowie will explain he is voting Tory to save the Union and the Loch Ness Monster will be spotted crossing the Channel – away from this SNP-tainted Heart of Darkness.

You think this isn’t set to happen? Of course it is. We’ve had two weeks of good weather and that’s always a harbinger of doom.

Evidently, Project Fear is once again alive and kicking – even though Soothsayer John and Dave the Prophet have prompted rebukes from former visionaries. It’s worth noting, though, that Norman Tebbit and Michael Forsyth have only objected to David Cameron’s hysterical focus on the SNP because it might harm the Conservative Cause, not because it disrespects British democracy.

But are these scare tactics working? The latest poll suggests they are. According to YouGov, 21 per cent of British voters think SNP influence would be good for the UK government, but 58 per cent say it would be bad. And 43 per cent of people say Ed Miliband should rule out an informal deal with the SNP as well as a coalition, while 35 per cent think he should leave that possibility open. Even in Scotland, where the SNP is riding high, 45 per cent say joint working between Labour and the Nationalists would be good but 44 per cent say it would be bad.

How does this square with other polls? The Economist and Telegraph – hardly noted supporters of Scottish independence – have scored Nicola Sturgeon the winner of every TV debate she’s contested. The First Minister’s popularity ratings across the UK are higher than any other British politician and voters in England applied to join the SNP and even stand as candidates after her clarion call to end austerity.

The wariness of Scots in this poll also stands at odds with another for the Daily Record in January, which found a Labour-SNP alliance had 35 per cent backing – the most popular of all scenarios for the next UK government. A Labour majority was second choice with 20 per cent, followed by a Tory majority with 14 per cent.

So what’s happened? If anything, support for the SNP has actually increased since that poll so the only possible conclusion seems to be that Project Fear has once again worked its weaselly charm on Scottish voters making even SNP supporters doubt the wisdom of an SNP-Labour pact.

That’s how it looks, but I doubt that’ll be how it stays.

First, the YouGov poll sampled only 145 Scots, not the 1,000 needed for a statistically valid poll. Second, even if that poll is an accurate snapshot of Scottish thinking, its finding of 45 per cent support for joint working is quite remarkable given the SNP’s demonisation in every part of the mainstream media. Thirdly, the fierce attacks on Nicola Sturgeon may have peaked too early.

With two weeks to go, there’s time for voters south of the Border to get scunnered with the constant negative intervention of the great and good. And there’s time for Scots to consider that the whole unedifying spectacle demonstrates just how cynical and anti-democratic the London establishment has become.

And that could have a profound impact on those who succumbed to Project Fear last time around and voted No in the indyref. Once – shame on you. Twice – shame on me.

In any case – as Labour are keen to point out – the Scottish Conservatives did support the SNP on a vote by vote basis from 2007-11. If political adversaries can find common cause, then surely a Labour-SNP pact is possible? I imagine some SNP supporters do fear, however, that joint working at Westminster will deflect the SNP from its main focus – the Scottish Parliament.

But what other progressive solution can democracy offer – a Lib-Lab pact with the deeply regressive Ulster Unionists?

Actually, given the very short timescale over which politicians and the media have taken a Labour-SNP agreement seriously, it’s a miracle the option commands a slender majority in Scotland. Two weeks is a very long time in politics – so here’s one final prediction. The more the Tories huff, puff and panic, the more appealing big change at Westminster will become.