On the face of it the first Scotland wide poll published since the election was called (although its fieldwork pre-dated that) was good news for the SNP. 42% and almost twice the votes of their nearest rivals (The Tories).
But, in truth they have four quite separate worries.
The first is that they are aware of a tendency, that I have already alluded to in my previous blog, for Westminster Scottish polling to overstate their support. They themselves realise that constant references to Westminster as a "foreign" parliament, necessary for their wider project, is hardly a strong point when arguing that their supporters must nonetheless turn out to vote in its elections. The big thing about 2017 was not that the opposition Parties gained lots of votes but rather than the SNP lost them. I wouldn't bet on them having got them back.
The second is that they fear being caught in a pincer. They worry on the one hand about leeching votes to the Lib Dems, who are the "quiet life" Party in Scotland promising "no more referendums" but also promising remain. This will lose them no seats directly to the Libs, except obviously Fife NE, but it certainly, under first past the post, sees them losing seats to others. They also worry however about how their own, now more, far more, than 2017, express commitment to Remain will play with the forgotten 38% of Scottish politics. Those who voted leave in 2016, a good one third of whom at least, by most calculation, had voted Yes in 2014. Brexit wasn't really an issue in Scotland in 2017. It will be this time.
Thirdly, they worry about their closeness to the idea of making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister. He is not, by any means, the sole reason for Scottish Labour's current unpopularity. He is, nonetheless, exceptionally unpopular. Almost as much in Scotland as in England. And yet given the way the Nats have positioned themselves, the only way now to ensure he never enters Downing Street is to vote for the Tories or the Lib Dems. I bet, given the chance, Nicola would turn back time to adopt the Jo Swinson position of possible support for a Labour Government but never for one led by Corbyn. Then again, as she juggles the nationalist balls in the air, that might risk losing populist votes elsewhere.
And finally, they worry about the weather. Not really extreme weather that would affect all parties equally but just dreich horrible weather. The SNP are blessed, if that's the right word, by some front line supporters who would, to their credit I suppose, walk five miles barefoot through a snowdrift to cast their votes for "Freedum!" But their leadership are acutely aware that they also have more or less a monopoly of those who, on the day, depending on the day, look out the window and might not feel bothered to vote at all. Roll on the sleet.
Now, there remain lots of things to encourage the Nats. Nobody suggests they won't remain Scotland's largest party on 13th December. They have however set the bar so high for themselves, and the stakes are so high for them, that I suspect Nicola would bite your arm off now if offered the deal of a single net gain on 13th December. For she gets what a single net loss would mean.
But I finish with a telling example. In 2017, I highlighted what I described as "secret seats", meaning seats that no-one thought in play but I believed might change hands. A lot of them then did. So here's my 2019 secret seat. Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. SNP vote 2015, 50.1%. SNP vote 2017, 39.9%. But that's not the really telling thing. Tory vote 2015, 5.9%. Tory vote 2017, (an astonishing) 30.5%. Apply what I say above and I think we can at least speculate it will soon be somebody else joining the Caledonian Sleeper.
Next blog, excusing events, I will turn my attention to the Labour Party. North and South.