An IPSOS MORI Poll in today's Times has the SNP surging ahead of Labour.
Astute commentators always predicted the Holyrood race would be closer than other recent polls predicted. However nobody could have thought it would happen so early in the campaign.
After the blip of the UK General Election, voters are beginning to link the issues they care about with what the parties offer. Earlier polls such this one for BBC Scotland last October showed public priorities - eg ring-fencing health, freezing council tax, and freezing wages in the public sector reflected SNP policy. Now Salmond's government is benefitting from that as minds concentrate on the choices on offer.
Reflecting on this, John Curtice, Politics Professor at Strathclyde University told The Scotsman: "It may be that now the Holyrood election is coming into view, people are looking at what the parties are offering, rather than being mesmerised by what is happening south of the Border."
That can only intensify as May draws closer. The focus in the budget on apprenticeships for young people has stolen Labour's thunder and that party's decision to vote against its own key demand has lead normally favourable observers to queston its credibility. Cracks are appearing. It is becoming apparent that SNP infrastructure spending - fast tracked to boost recovery - has slowed the effects of the recesson in Scotland. If that is what can be achieved with good management, what might we gain from greater economic power?
That's before we even talk about the quality of potential First Ministers and front bench teams. Certainly it livens up the election, even if you are non-aligned - see Alex Massie's post in The Spectator.
The bare figures are as follows
For more go to The Times, which is subscription only online or in print. A detailed SNP response is here