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Wings Over Scotland


Do you agree?

Posted on July 12, 2013 by

Alistair Darling’s gremlin-plagued “positive case for the Union” speech in Glasgow yesterday, even leaving aside the weakness of its tired, reheated arguments (basically the same old “We cannae dae it” doom and gloom resprayed with an atom-thin coat of All-New Positivitrex!) might be the most boring thing we’ve ever read.

It drones on for a soul-sapping 26 pages and we can’t imagine how long it must have seemed when you were stuck in the room hearing it in Darling’s querulous, vexatious voice, but there’s one saving grace: the graphs. There are no fewer than 23 frequently-incomprehensible boxes, charts and diagrams, of which this is our favourite.

btgraph

We’re not sure they’ve quite grasped how polling works.

It is, for example, more than a little odd to ask a question starting “Regardless of how you are likely to vote in [the] referendum…” and then offer two answers that explicitly depend on your vote in the referendum, along with three answers which DON’T express a preference on the constitutional option. Either your vote in the referendum is irrelevant or it isn’t. Take away the preamble and it’s even more striking:

“Which currency would you prefer Scotland to use?”

“Become independent.”

We’re also fans of the second-most-popular option, which we think it’s fair to say is just a touch on the leading side. We look forward to the next survey, which our busy Project Fear mole has leaked us the draft of.

Regardless of how you are likely to vote in the referendum, do you think Scotland should stay in the EU?

(a) I would like Scotland to stay in the UK, because the UK is in the EU. We’re better together! I will be voting No in the referendum.

(b) Become independent but stay in the EU, even though we’d probably not be allowed into the EU and if we did we wouldn’t get a rebate and we’d have to have border controls with England and we’d all become foreigners and probably die of Foreign AIDS.

(c) Scotland should leave the EU and join Australia.

(d) Scotland is in the EU?

(e) I prefer Frosties to Ricicles.

(f) Please go away.

We’ll have more fun from Mr Darling’s speech for you soon, unless attempting to read the whole thing makes us attempt suicide again. Either way, don’t hold your breath.

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57 to “Do you agree?”

  1. MajorBloodnok says:

    Now I’m glad the live feed wasn’t working.

  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    “Regardless of how you are likely to vote in [the] referendum…”  et
    “Which currency would you prefer Scotland to use?”
    Who devised this, some kids in a remedial woodworking class?

  3. Peter A Bell says:

    Alistair Darling is an accomplished orator. He manages to focus on the banal and the inconsequential without neglecting the trivial and the mundane.

  4. Iain says:

    Did they even make a pretence that that poxy pie-chart was based on real polling? I’m pretty sure a reputable polling company would refuse to set such leading/cretinous questions.

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    It claims to be from a YouGov poll. I’ll have a look.

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Astoundingly, YouGov DID allow themselves to be paid to ask a question with such moronic reply options (page 2):

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/g00o8zoqxj/YouGov-Survey-Better-Together-130320.pdf

    I wonder if we could get the Electoral Commision to assess them?

  7. seoc says:

    The name of whatever currency we adopt as an Independent Nation, is entire irrelevant.
    What it can purchase and its intrinsic strength is not.
    Additionally, Sterling will fall in value and strength once we go.

  8. Shinty says:

    Figure 8 Scots want to keep the UK Pound. 

    Not again, how many times do we need to hear this shite. 
    No Scotland – no UKOK

  9. Dcanmore says:

    hahahaha that currency poll/chart is hilarious! 🙂
     
    Talk about just making it loaded in your favour, and they’re not even bothering to hide the fact. I mean how many ways can you re-heat the same old left-overs. Smacks of a campaign that has nothing, no vision, no positivity, no ideas, no imagination on any level, no credibility, no grassroots and no steam left in the engine. And if anyone thinks they still have any credibility after this pile of steaming poo then they are already brainwashed.

  10. PRJ says:

    The 26 page report also suggests that the act of the union was amicable. A rewrite of history?

  11. Iain says:

    @Rev Stu.
    Thanks. I’m amazed!

    Might go on to the UKpolling report forum which is run by Yougov’s Anthony Wells to see if he has a comment. From memory he’s always been very vociferous about not being pushed around by clients who only want the ‘right’ answer.

  12. Doug Daniel says:

    “Regardless of whether or not you beat your wife, do you think you should stop beating your wife?”

  13. Andy-B says:

    Alistair Darlings…formula for converting people to the no camp,varies daily with new lies, tried out to see if they have a more devastating effect than the previous lies.
     
    A bit like WD40, which was named after the 40th formula, created by, Norm Larsen, ironically Larsen was trying to create a formula to prevent, moisture forming on nuclear missiles.
     
    Thankfully they’ll be no winning formula for Darling and his no camp.

  14. Jiggsbro says:

    Figure 8 Scots want to keep the UK Pound
     
    If there’s only 8, we might as well just let them. Everyone else will cope, eh?

  15. Max says:

     
    Ignore the loaded question just look at the Holyrood and Westminster voting intentions. They are only quoting unweighted numbers. Top of the head number crunching highlights that properly weighted figures will show the SNP running away with the Holyrood elections and being neck-and-neck with Labour for the Westminster elections. 
     
    That is a striking result after 7 years of SNP government.  All that is required is turn that popularity for SNP governance into YES votes. 

  16. Mister Worf says:

    Never mind how daft the questions was, a vital option was missing!
     
    WEE SAUSAGE ROLLS!

  17. Max says:

     
    Just love this polled question,
     
    “In the year of independence, Scotland’s deficit will be higher than that of the UK”
     
    Better Together are polling on the basis of scaremongering.
     
    Why didn’t they go with:
     
    In the year of independence, Scotland’s first born will all die;
     
    More likely to vote for independence 
    Less likely to vote for independence 
    No difference, I would vote for independence anyway 
    No difference, I would against for independence anyway 
    Don’t know
     

  18. Max says:

    Any chance that someone can come up with Spoof Better Together poll guaranteed to scare the keech out of people?

  19. That YouGov poll is pretty much a spoof already. It’s only really missing something about meteors or earthquakes.

  20. Max says:

    In summary we have so called positive speech based on scaremongering polling. 
     
    So Project Fear marches on, content with their own lies and still believing in their own spin. 

  21. JuanBonnets says:

    The questions in the YouGov poll are frighteningly ill-posed. U-KOK’s real reason for opposing the referendum question as it stands clearly must be that it is far to straightforward and understandable.
     
    If I’m reading the responses correctly in the data tables though, the “no difference, I’ll be voting for independence anyway” responses to the statements are interesting. 2% of Tory voters (so around two people in this survey) and around 10% of Labour and Lib Dem voters have said they’ll vote Yes regardless of the scaremongering prelude to the question – I know this has been known for a while, but Better Together can’t be too chuffed at those “wrong” responses to questions that were very well chosen to give the “right” answer.

  22. Gordon Smith says:

    You have to question the judgement of YouGov in being prepared to run and endorse  these questions.
     
    If their similar #indyref polls are just as “Unbiased”, it explains why on the street I see undecided voters at 35%+, not 15%-20% as polls indicate.
    If #Indy YES  already has solid 35%+ plus vote, where does that really leave the NO Scotland  / Project Fear  campaign continuing deminishing  vote.
    Softly , softly catch the monkey. Stay positive, give the facts, often, clearly and everywhere you have the opportunity – we cannot help but win.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You have to question the judgement of YouGov in being prepared to run and endorse these questions.”

    Their judgement runs like this:

    1. “Are they paying us?”

    2. “Yay!”

  24. Embradon says:

    “No difference, I would against for independence anyway” 

    WTF?
    Just as coherent as the rest of the poll and Cap’n Darling’s “positive” scaremongering.
    Do they really think our heids button up the back?

  25. Juteman says:

    I wonder if the folk who produced this bolx were pissing themselves laughing?
    We’re getting paid for this guys! Woo hoo!
     
     

  26. muttley79 says:

    @Dcanmore
     
    ‘Smacks of a campaign that has nothing, no vision, no positivity, no ideas, no imagination on any level, no credibility, no grassroots and no steam left in the engine.’
     
    Hell yeah…

  27. Gordon Hay says:

    @ Peter A Bell, @ Doug Daniel –
     
    If there were Like/Thumbs-up buttons available you would have got my clicks (sorry Rev).
     
    They really do think we’re that stupid. don’t they?
     

  28. Albalha says:

    Meanwhile where is the YES campaign? Deck chair changing, Bell gone Campbell in for the SNP, hopefully he can help. Meanwhile over at the YES lot, what’s going on?
    For goodness sake we’re up against A Darling et al, how difficult can it be? I really do wonder how this can be won. And on my side I’ve converted a fair few.

  29. handclapping says:

    So the positive case for the Union is sharing.
    One for you and one for me
    Two for you and 1, 2 for me
    Three for you and 1, 2, 3 for me … etc. ad infinitum

  30. Luigi says:

    BT are beginning to really scrape the opinion poll barrel now. It makes you wonder just how bad their real private polling is, when they resort to blatant, leading questions and negative associations with responses they don’t want.  Judging by people on the street and reports on these threads, I would hazard a guess that YES is still behind NO, but it is steadily creeping up. Even if YES is at 35% at the moment, there is no way they can flag this, as it does not fit with their “stalled at 30%” narrative. Any signs of YES moving upward, even slightly, this far out, and its curtains for BT. The recent dearth of opinion polls publicised indicate that this may now be happening. And why would the YES campaign not release their poll results now? Well, perhaps because they don’t have to. YES leaders are looking relaxed (unlike BT) Perhaps they are already winning! 

  31. westie7 says:

    There does seem to be some mantra attached to the continual 30% or so figures in the polls, Smacks of convenience to me from BT
     
    As for YouGov bending the realms of reality they are surely having a competition with James Cook for double talk .. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23287920

  32. I suffered yesterday so that my fellow man wouldn’t have to: Captain Darling Tries to Polish the Turd. The word counts give the lie to the new positivity:
    Risk appears 34 times
    Secure/insecure/ity 29
    Border 14
    Small 14
    Separate/ing 7
    Uncertainty/ies 6 
    Crisis/es 5
    Barrier 4
    Strength 4
    Reduce 3
    Break/ing 3
    Hindrance  2
    Weak/en 2
     
     

  33. muttley79 says:

    @Albalha
     

    Meanwhile where is the YES campaign?   Good question, I am not sure.  Seems everybody is away on their summer holidays…
     
    Deck chair changing, Bell gone Campbell in for the SNP, hopefully he can help. Meanwhile over at the YES lot, what’s going on?
    For goodness sake we’re up against A Darling et al, how difficult can it be? 

    Unfortunately we are up against a lot more than Darling et al.  Most of the MSM in the UK are against independence, as are most of the establishment in Scotland.  The middle classes in general do not seem that keen either.
     
    I really do wonder how this can be won. And on my side I’ve converted a fair few.  I have my doubts as well.   On the positive side the No campaign appear to be the embodiment of the theme tune to Benny Hill…

  34. handclapping says:

    The other bit of that tedious ramble that sticks in my throat is the total disconnect between the risks to Scotland of oil and the risk to the UK of their “powerhouse” London. All it needs is the USA to change its tax law on foreign earnings and London is fcuk’d long term, and as for the short term it has cost us £1.2 trillion recently. Oil is a much smaller and more manageable risk. The City of London bombing is a cataclysmic risk like building on the side of Mt Toba

  35. scottish_skier says:

    I wonder if the Rev would be interested in asking the relative costs of a Yougov survey and an ICM one of 1000 people. I’m sure they’d be happy to quote for a politics website.
    Tesco value option (I’d imagine) with the added benefit of ‘doesn’t work well in Scotland’ weighting…
     

  36. Jiggsbro says:

    So the positive case for the Union is sharing.
     
    Surely the positive case for the Union is that it can protect us from all the scary bogeymen of independence? It’s like a giant comfort blanket, that the dog’s been sick on.

  37. handclapping says:

    @Jiggsbro
    I’m sure if they ever think that way the BT mob see us as Linus the wimpy kid and themselves as Charlie Brown.

  38. James Kay says:

    The weightings of the YouGov poll are strange.
     
    Top line shows 519 males out of 1091 voters (47.5%).
    The weighted figure is 481 males (44%).
     
    As I understand it, the weightings are designed to make the sample more representative of the population as a whole. Are Scottish adult males really outnumbered by the female of the species by 44 to 56?

  39. Jiggsbro says:

    I’m sure if they ever think that way the BT mob see us as Linus the wimpy kid and themselves as Charlie Brown.
     
    Back in ’79, we were Charlie Brown. And they were Lucy, taking the ball away when we were about to kick a field goal. And like Lucy, they’ve promised not to do it this time. Darling, of course, is the teacher: “Wah wah, wah wah wah wah wah”.

  40. westie7 says:

    James Kay says:
    12 July, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    The weightings of the YouGov poll are strange.
     
    James, Is it not that YG and BT are simply asking selected people to achieve the desired result
     

  41. scaredy cat. says:

    Sharing and Belonging? Don’t know why but it made me think of Joey from Friends (the thick one) trying to write some words for a wedding speech. It was something like “caring and sharing and loving and giving and sharing etc etc. Shame Mr. Darling isn’t so easy on the eye as Joey.

  42. Dal Riata says:

    The questions in that ‘survey’ are so leading and just wrong to be not worth even considering any of its  ‘results’ as having anything in the way of credibility: scorn and opprobrium is all it deserves.
     
    And, YouGov are not biased in any way, no, no way, not at all, oh no, not a smidgen, … allegedly!

  43. ianbrotherhood says:

    Here’s another mad idea –
     
    Why doesn’t Rev give us, say, five questions he would like non-WoS readers to answer, and those of us so inclined venture into our local High St and ask them? It would give WoS a human face and might throw up some interesting results.
     
    I’m up for it. Should be helping at an SSP street stall in Ayr tomorrow (if we get enough bodies) and believe it or not, some folk enjoy answering questions if they know there isn’t a Credit Agreement getting shoved in their face at the end of it.

  44. Big Jock says:

    All I take from this is 44% want independence…sounds like a good base.

  45. Doonfooter says:

    Ianbrotherhood – Yes South Ayrshire will have a stall at the High St, Wallace Tower from 10.30-1.30. I’ll be there from 12. Maybe see you there always good to put faces to name!

  46. HandandShrimp says:

    Remarkable questions 🙂
     
    Does credibility mean nothing to YouGov? Really surprised they would put their name to such awful polling practice. It deserves to be very widely publicised. 
     
    Darling’s re-launch was completely lost in the MoD debacle. Not Darling’s fault but one cannot help but smile at the timing.  

  47. Jamie Arriere says:

    A few hilarious polls in that report I have to say. My favourite is the one for ‘soft power’ with (whaddya know) the UK at number one, Denmark at 7, and Israel and China at….well nowhere. 
     
    Just bizarre!!

    And the source? Monocle Magazine…I mean WTF??!!

  48. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Doonfooter-
     
    Well, Ayr’s in for a treat tomorrow – double street-stall action!
     
    We’re planning to be at the same place, but later, hoping to set up about mid-day.
     
    Looking forward to meeting you.
     
    PS I bet our wallpaper table’s better than yours.

  49. Clydebilt says:

    Rev Stuart
     
    I’m increasingly coming to the opinion that we should stop telling The Alistair Darling led Project Fear chumps what they are doing wrong.
    Let them stew in their trough, non the wiser.
    Their attacks on YES must be addressed. But don’t give them tips on how to be more effective.
    If they can’t work it out for themselves, then why should we help them.

  50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m increasingly coming to the opinion that we should stop telling The Alistair Darling led Project Fear chumps what they are doing wrong.
    Let them stew in their trough, non the wiser.
    Their attacks on YES must be addressed. But don’t give them tips on how to be more effective.”

    It’s a win-win for us. If they fight on the facts, we’ll crush them, because all the facts are on our side. But if they keep up the ridiculous scaremongering we’ll beat them too, because people are already sick of it and there’s a long way to go.

    The only difference is, if it’s a grown-up debate there’s a chance the people of Scotland will be able to get along with each other afterwards.

  51. john king says:

    ““Regardless of whether or not you beat your wife, do you think you should stop beating your wife?”
      er? yes? eh no? anyone?

  52. john king says:

    “Never mind how daft the questions was, a vital option was missing!

     WEE SAUSAGE ROLLS!

      Whit aboot the wee dugs?
    dinne firget the wee dugs crivvins jings an help ma boab

  53. john king says:

    “On the positive side the No campaign appear to be the embodiment of the theme tune to Benny Hill…”
    bwa ha ha ha ha ha hah ah hhhaaaaaa

  54. Patrick Roden says:

    These polling companies are a joke and if they had a shred of credibility they would not allow the:  ‘Yes at 30%, so two thirds of Scots reject Independence’  narrative to be spouted by all in the MSM and BT.
    It serves the purpose for BT and the Westminster elite though, because it serves to prevents the thing they fear the most, 
    The development of a positive momentum gathering in the YES camp.
    We can’t do anything about this as far as it appears in the MSM, but the truth about what is happening on the ground, is somewhat different.
     
    My favourite polling moment was when Nichola recently announced that private SNP polling data was showing that women and youth were moving towards a Yes vote!
    She let it be known that in the scalled polls that ask the same people questions over a period of time, but also asks them to respond with answers that are scaled from 1 to 10 with 1 being a definite yes and 10 being a definite no, that the polling showed women and youth moving along the scale towards a yes vote and away from the No vote.
    This showed that the No vote was softening up and many No’s had became don’t knows, and many undecided had became Yes voters.
    The BT mob were apoplectic, even threatening to report the SNP to the electoral commission!
    At no time however, did BT claim that these polling results were false and this is the bit I find really interesting.
     
    It has long been known that men backed Yes in good numbers but women and youngsters were more reluctant.
    It was even reported in the MSM that should women support Yes in the same numbers of men, yes would win.
    I tend to think that this polling shows that we are indeed winning this and the feeling ‘on the ground’ is indeed reflected in any genuine polling results.
     
    It’s just that, like everything else, when it comes to polls we are being lied to……
     
    ………..But we already knew that, didn’t we?
     
     
     

  55. Macart says:

    @John King
    “On the positive side the No campaign appear to be the embodiment of the theme tune to Benny Hill…”
    bwa ha ha ha ha ha hah ah hhhaaaaaa”
     
    How many times have you been told, cola and red bull should never be drunk together.
     
    Having said that….. excellent. Cheered up the morning read no end. 😀

  56. Val Wells says:

    YouGov polls are often skewed towards the answer the buyer of the survey is looking for and in my opinion the pollsters are mainly drawn from England. Also the name of the company cheekily suggests the polls are official. Always treat them with caution. Maybe more Scots should join up! 

  57. Vambomarbeleye says:

    What on eath are the bitter together going to do after independance. Just say we didny see that comming. As they did before.
     
    Saw Broon at the UN. The man who sold the world. Prudence my arse.



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