YOUGOV’S new full-scale Scottish poll is a landmark in a couple of ways – it’s the first Scottish poll since the relatively early stages of the coronavirus crisis, and it’s also the first since Keir Starmer was elected Labour leader.

On the latter score, the results are a bitter blow for Labour, who seem to have taken yet another backwards step since the dismal General Election performance under Corbyn.

They now stand at just 15% of the Scottish vote for Westminster – down four points from polling day in December. It’s even worse at Holyrood, where they seem to be slumping dangerously close to fringe-party status on just 12% of the vote, both in the constituencies and on the list.

And what is bad for Labour is, almost by definition, good for the SNP. Now that we’ve been through an electoral realignment along Remain/Leave lines, the percentage of voters who would realistically consider switching from the SNP to the Tories (or vice versa) is extremely limited.

The Tories may on paper be the main opposition party, but any real electoral threat to the SNP can only come from Labour.

If that threat has been extinguished the large SNP lead over the Tories may be effectively locked in for the foreseeable future. That said, the public have been totally preoccupied with the pandemic since Starmer’s election, which inevitably means they’ve been paying far more attention to Nicola Sturgeon than to the new Labour leader.

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We shouldn’t totally rule out the possibility of a Starmer bounce in Scotland when we return to politics as usual – but there’s certainly no sign of it yet.

The SNP’s eight-point jump in Holyrood voting intentions is almost in dreamland territory, but is it all that it seems? It must be remembered that this is YouGov’s first Holyrood poll since the General Election and that all polling firms have updated their methodology after December 12 in a way that is likely to boost the SNP’s reported vote.

The main reason that the SNP were underestimated by the polls last year is that firms were weighting to target figures based on the 2017 General Election, in which the party under-performed due to a disproportionate number of its own supporters staying at home.

So the correction of that error may be exaggerating the SNP surge now – but only somewhat. Even on the Westminster numbers, YouGov is saying that the SNP have jumped six points since the General Election, which suggests that most of the surge is very real.

Another question that has yet to be answered is how much of the SNP’s popularity can be explained by a continuing honeymoon effect caused by the landslide in December, and how much is down to Nicola Sturgeon’s assured performance as a “war leader” during the pandemic.

At a minimum, we can certainly say that the crisis is unlikely to be doing the SNP any harm because YouGov’s polling indicates that the Scottish public think Sturgeon is handling it much, much better than Boris Johnson, and also that the Scottish Govermment is performing better than the UK Government in general. The Scottish Conservative leadership would doubtless have been privately hoping that the “rally round the flag” effect would in Scotland be a score draw between the SNP and the Tories, but that simply hasn’t materialised.