As I write, the sum of the polling forecasters is that when the votes are counted the Conservatives will emerge as the largest party, but without sufficient support in the Commons to form a stable government.
In other words, the support of the Liberal Democrats and the Democratic Unionists won’t be enough to sustain a Tory-led government for five years – assuming that both are willing to give it.
However, were they do so in these circumstances, and were the SNP prepared not to bring a Conservative-led government down, Cameron would enjoy a comfortable majority.
The Tory and nationalist campaigning rhetoric alike would seem to make such an outcome impossible. But will the Prime Minister pitch for it none the less?
As ConservativeHome has repeatedly argued, there would be nothing wrong at all in the Conservatives proposing the only sustainable Unionist solution to Scottish and English nationalism: a more federal UK.
By proposing devo-max, Cameron would be making a broad appeal to Scottish voters, who are evidently unhappy with the constitutional status quo (if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be voting SNP in large numbers).
He would also be making a more narrow one to the SNP’s new band of MPs – by offering more devolution than Labour is willing to consider.
On balance, I don’t think that Sturgeon and Salmond would take any such bait. They know well that only federalism can prevent independence, and are thus very wary of it.
And I suspect that Conservatives MPs wouldn’t tolerate the gambit – since they haven’t been prepared for a more federalist policy, and haven’t been consulted on it either.
Had they been better prepared, matters might be otherwise. “‘You say I am repeating/Something I have said before. I shall say it again./Shall I say it again?…”