The SNP pitch to the Scottish electorate during the run up to the polls yesterday brought to mind the television advert for an insurance company which promises to quote its customers happy. "Quote me happy" says the customer on the phone to the insurance company and they duly oblige him.
It is human nature to prefer to hear good news rather than bad news and the SNP tactic has been to tag the Labour attempts to point out some of the weaknesses in the pro-independence position as "negative campaigning". This has sometimes hit home with the electorate who preferred an up beat and can do message to labours "tax and instability" warnings about the risks of having a pro-independence party leading the Scottish Parliament.
But does that make the Labour warnings wrong or untrue? No. If there has been a fault it is that the Labour campaign sometimes seemed too one dimensional. The positive aspects of their manifesto were undersold and in some cases ( reform of Council Tax) did not yet seem fully worked out.
The electorates preference for "Quote me happy" messages does not of course mean that these happy promises will turn out to be true. Just as many a customer of an insurance company may find that there is rather a lot of hidden small print when it comes time to make a claim so indeed with the SNP promises of an SNP/independence Nirvana there will also be small print that the electorate at this point will remain unaware of.
So the SNP and Alex "quote me happy" Salmond have reaped rewards for a relentlessly upbeat approach. The final seats are yet to be declared but it looks at this stage as if the SNP might yet become the largest party. If they do the Scottish Electorate will rightly make its claim on the SNP promises. It will be at that point that we will discover if the "quote me happy" approach of the SNP was in truth a foretaste of an independent Nirvana. Alternatively we may discover that, like some devious insurance company, the SNP claims were just so much hype and the claim is costly and limited by the small print.