The Scotsman reports that the Tories are to back a vote in the Scottish Parliament calling for a referendum on Independence.
The Conservatives claim that an Independence vote will see a crushing defeat for the SNP and will "shoot their fox". If the Tories are correct, this might be a clever strategy. However, what if they get it wrong ? There are plenty of potential problems for the Tories in backing the SNP in such a vote.
Firstly, every Tory marginal at the next election or any Scottish target seat they have will no doubt be swamped with leaflets telling everyone that the Tories backed the SNP. This is bound to lose them support.
Secondly, if the vote is successful, the Tories will forever lose the right to use the word Unionist. Yes, there may be no need for it in an independent Scotland, but through all their troubles in Scotland the Tories have always been able to pick up 5-10% of the vote from people who would describe themselves as patriotic Unionists.
And what of their English vote ? How will it look to the English if it is widely reported that the Tories are voting with Scottish Nationalists ? If I were involved in politics on the front line, I'd be mentioning it. If I were still a councillor my identified Tory voters would be getting a target letter pointing out how much the Tories care for "us in England".
So the Tories ploy could be a work of genius or an absolute disaster, or even somewhere in between. Still, it is a dangerous game to play.