Back in the heady days of autumn, when Scotland only just decided to stick with the United Kingdom, by 55% to 45% in the independence referendum, few politics watchers saw the SNP’s subsequent surge in support coming.
For those who did, we hope you got behind Nicola Sturgeon’s lot winning 10-plus, 20-plus or 30-plus seats as expectations for the SNP spiralled out of control. For everybody else, there’s scant value in backing the Nats at this stage.
Lest we forget, former SNP chief Alex Salmond led his party to just six constituency victories in 2010, yet their under/over mark ahead of Thursday’s poll stands at 51.5, also known as too big to be true.
The pollsters may point to around 52 at present, but the SNP’s mammoth support has slipped a little of late; having attracted over half of Scotland in the polls earlier this month, the latest Panelbase findings give them under 50%.
Nasty scenes in Glasgow involving Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, reds supporter Eddie Izzard and belligerent nationalists can hardly have helped the SNP’s cause.
Sturgeon was clearly caught off guard after insisting her party had nothing to do with it, before a picture of her posing with one of the offenders emerged later.
To be clear, nobody’s saying the SNP won’t have a spectacular night, as backing them to claim 40-49 seats assumes their presence in the House of Commons will go up six-fold at least.
But will they really overturn 10,000 and 16,000 majorities to force out the likes of Murphy and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander?
Many believe even Gordon Brown’s old seat Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, which the former Prime Minister won by 23,000 votes, is in the firing line.
Under the current first-past-the-post voting system, this would be some sort of miracle. Don’t buy into it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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