The greatest strenght, and greatest weakness, of the SNP is the central policy of independence. In years gone by the overwhelming majority of Scots who don't want to break way from the UK have moved away from the SNP because of that.
Now, with Labour in the political gutter, many left-leaning voters are looking for a new home. If you wanted an alternative reforming left wing government you would look to the SNP rather than Labour. But that whole independence thing still puts you off, doesn't it?
So that's why the SNP are promising a referendum (something they never did in 2003 - saying that a vote for the SNP was a vote for Independence!) and have moved the issue to the backburner. To gather up all those disgruntled ex-Labour voters who need a home.
But if you do put the destruction of our nation at the back of your mind, the SNP aren't so bad are they?
Well, if you do vote for the SNP don't be surprised if the kitten you thought you voted for turns out to be a leopard. And believe me, those spots don't change.
Alex Salmond has worked his whole political life for an Independent Scotland - it will pre-occupy every moment of his time as First Minister. He is single-minded - almost a one-policy man. From the moment his feets go under the desk, you know what he'll be plotting. And it ain't cutting crime or improving the NHS.
So before you think the SNP are a viable alternative for Scotland, think about what spots they might be hiding.