Arithmetically at least it appears a SNP-Liberal Democrat coalition is a realistic option.
But of course whether the two parties can reach a political accommodation is perhaps the $64,000 question of this election - and one to which we will not receive an answer, if at all, until after 3 May.
And here comes the hidden bad news for Mr Salmond in our poll. On the basis of our projection not only could the Liberal Democrats strike a deal with the SNP, but they could also do so with Labour. True, Labour and the Liberal Democrats would still be one short of a majority, but doubtless they could entice at least one MSP from the ranks of the independents to help them.
In these circumstances Nicol Stephen, the Liberal Democrat leader, would have a trump card. He could always walk out and talk to the other side.
Well yes, Mr Stephen could indeed talk to Labour. But what about? Labour are committed to nuclear policies and the council tax; the LibDems would have fought on a platform against both. And would Mr Stephen want to get into bed with a Labour Party which had effectively lost the election? The people have spoken (the bastards), so we just ignore the outcome and carry on with a Lab/LibDem coalition as before?
Interestingly, even Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph thinks that the SNP and the LibDems might play footsie:
The problem is as it's always been, namely that the more Labour scares people off voting for the Nats and the break-up of the United Kingdom, the greater is the likelihood of anti-Labour voters plumping for the Lib Dems.
Isn't that good news for unionists? Not necessarily, and for the following reason: if the SNP emerge as the biggest party, they will still need a coalition partner to form an administration. Although the Lib Dems say they won't get into bed with the Nats if a referendum on independence is on the cards, can they really resist some of the other blandishments that Alex Salmond might offer?
For instance, what if Mr Salmond offers them a referendum on Holyrood being allowed to raise and spend its own taxes or a revived commission - like that recently convened by David Steel - on increased powers for the Scottish Parliament? Will the Lib Dems turn down a coalition on these grounds?
As has been remarked upon before in this space, all Mr Salmond wants is to get into Bute House and to prove that his team can be as least as competent in government - albeit a devolved one - as is Labour now. Then, he plans to bide his time and engineer as many disputes with the Westminster government as he can, in the hope that the voters eventually view independence