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Wings Over Scotland

Regions and nations

Posted on June 03, 2014 by

We’re still waiting for YouGov to publish the data tables for the survey they conducted for “Better Together” and which was reported on Sunday and Monday in the Herald, the Courier, the Scotsman and possibly others. As far as we can see, publication is now overdue under British Polling Council rules.

In the meantime, though, we’ve had an email from one of the poll’s respondents – alert reader Nikkii Hall – which offers a revealing insight into how it’s possible to manipulate surveys to get the answers you want. We thought you might find it interesting.

“I’m one of the 1,000 who took part in the YouGov survey covered in several newspapers this week. I am also one of the 79% of SNP supporters quoted as not supporting different levels of pensions and benefits.

The interpretation of this survey as proof of strong support for pooling UK-wide resources is disingenuous but oh so predictable. I stand by the answers I gave and I would give the same answers to the same questions if asked again.

The survey itself started off fairly innocuously, asking if I agreed that pensions should be paid at the same level across the UK and if I agreed that welfare benefits should be paid at the same rate across the UK. Of course I answered yes. Call me an old-fashioned socialist but I am all for flat rate benefits and pensions within a country.

The first real inkling that something a bitty sneaky was going on was when the survey asked if I agreed that pensions and benefits in a region should only be paid for from the money raised in that region. Of course I answered no. Again, call me an old fashioned socialist but I am all for the redistribution of wealth to where it’s needed throughout a country.

What they didn’t ask was if I wished to remain part of the country in question.

Then the survey turned to oil and big business. I would be lying if I said I was 100% certain which of these was asked first but I think they came in this order: firstly should taxes raised by business in the city of London only be spent in London and second, should taxes from oil revenues only be spent in Scotland.

At this point I’m ready to go back and grab screen shots as now I know where this is leading me…. on a merry dance to supporting the Union. But I couldn’t go back, presumably as it would also have let me change my answers, and now I’d cottoned on.

So I plodded on, handing them the answers I knew they would twist because the truth is I do believe in pooling resources and I do believe in flat-rate benefits and I do believe that everyone should receive the same level of state pension, in a country.

If you asked me ‘Should the money raised from businesses in Edinburgh only be spent in Edinburgh’ I would say no. If you asked me ‘Should the oil revenues raised in Aberdeen only be spent in Aberdeenshire’ I would say no. If you asked me ‘Should the people of Glasgow get a different rate of benefits and pensions from the people of Inverness’ I would say no.

I want to pool Scotland’s resources and I want to distribute Scotland’s wealth and make it work for the people of Scotland. As a country, not a region.

But they didn’t ask that.”

Be careful about being honest, readers. To some, it’s a weakness to be exploited.

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  1. 09 06 14 19:49

    #IndyRef Weekly Review #2: Bias in the BBC and Lies from Better Together | National Collective

134 to “Regions and nations”

  1. heedtracker says:


  2. Croompenstein says:

    Heard Crash Gordon coming out with that earlier about Scots wanting the same pension and benefits as the rest of the UK.

    ditto what heedtracker said – Sleekit

  3. Yep, I’ve done YouGov surveys in the past, and recently, whose questions have made me very suspicious as to how they will be interpreted.

  4. Hopefully their duff gen is only deluding themselves. It behoves us all to get the word out about alternative sites like Wings.

    By the way, Scotland Yet only has 5 days to go for its post-production fundraising drive if anyone has any spare cash left:

  5. Gary says:

    I thought this type of misleading questioning had been outlawed? Reminds me of Lynton Crosby, Dave’s very special adviser (remember he refused to deny discussing the cigarette plain pkg issue with him). This was the VERY thing he was accused of in the Australian election. Very, very dirty and much, much worse to come.

  6. mogabee says:

    So sneaky YouGov. But we knew that anyway.

    Thank the lord for A Lert readers is all I can say!

  7. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    Shouldn’t this be reported to the British Polling Council? Surely this is manipulating the individuals being polled.

  8. JLT says:

    That’s manipulation all right. I think if anyone does one of
    these in the future, then it might be best to do screenshots.

    Thanks for that, Nikkii

  9. Fiona says:

    Thanks for this information: it explains a lot

    Fact is that the disparity between polls has to be down to different methodology, and at least some of them have to be flawed to get such different outcomes.

    Presuming that there are at least some established principles it is extremely tempting to think that those are breached routinely; or that they are worthless in the way that mainstream economics is also worthless as a scientific approach

    This particular example, as described, cannot be a consequence of innocent error. A child can see what is wrong with it.

    Let us ignore all of these polls: they are part of the campaign; they are not objective comment or analysis about the campaign. They are not a neutral semi scientific test of the effectiveness of the campaign, either

  10. Bill Cruickshank says:

    The Brit Establishment are experts in the science of mind manipulation. It is present every time you which on the TV turn on the radio or pick up a newspaper. The trick is getting folk to realise they are victims. Thanks to Nikki for revealing this.

  11. Lynn says:

    I completed a You Gov survey on the 25th May which asked the same questions, and also asked how I intended to vote in the referendum (along with lots of other questions). I assume this poll (the reports say it was carried out between the 14th and 18th of May) also asked that question? If so, why are Better Together not reporting the results?

  12. Mike says:

    Its actually more interesting that You Gov have chosen to act in an underhanded way when conducting their polls because it shows a blatant and undeniable motivation to deceive. This proves their polling with regards to Scottish Independence is tainted and cannot be trusted. I have no doubt the same can be said of the other polling organisations used by Better Together.
    It is heartening to know that the poll results are suspect as they continually show a large deficit between the voting options. They indeed fly in the face of all indications of support on the ground.
    I truly believe that support for Independence has already overtaken the no vote and this is being deliberately kept hidden.
    It stands to reason that the No campaign have been caught blatantly lying in every other aspect of their campaign so why not this one as well?

  13. bunter says:

    Would wee Doogie Alexander not be a family friend of Ms Smith of the state broadcaster?

  14. DonnyWho says:

    Hi a friend just phoned me to say that he posted on facebook “am off to silent protest at the bbc on Sunday 29th…. who will join me” he tried to post three times and for the first time ever he got back “failed post”, subsequently he posted something non politial which worked, followed by the same political post which failed.
    Has anybody experianced the same or is this just a series of unfortunate events?

  15. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    The pensions issue is a total red herring from “Robber” Brown, as the DWP (of the UK) has already guaranteed them…

  16. Caroline Corfield says:

    I have had reason to complain or comment on the end page where you rate the survey with Yougov a number of times now. It’s possible I have also done this survey but living in England I wouldn’t have been able to choose SNP as a party and I think I chose Other then Green. If it was this one then I definitely commented about the leading questioning.

    I have actually said to them if they don’t start getting it right I won’t be bothering with their polls anymore.

  17. DonnyWho says:

    sorry rev O/T too early but worried

  18. rab_the_doubter says:

    Sarah Smith alert:
    Alex Salmond holding Court,
    Gordon Brown Leading.
    Sneakk King Alex reference there Sarah.

  19. Doug Daniel says:

    I knew polling companies could be sneaky, but that takes some beating.

    Just think though folks – that’s them needing to manipulate people to get the poll results they want now. What does that tell you?

  20. Liz Mann says:

    My partner and I both did this survey and the way the questions were asked were definitely distorted – we keep a copy of all the surveys we do so if anyone would like to see all the questions we’re happy to share so you can see for yourself

  21. proudscot says:

    I’ve read that one of the main ways some of these polling companies gather their responses is by telephone. I for one have “caller display” on my phone and don’t pick up unless I recognise the ID of the caller. Thus if any polling company phone me, a firm independence supporter, they will get no response bar an answer phone message asking them to leave name & number, etc.

    Now I’m sure many YES supporters will be like me in this respect, so the phone pollsters are therefore not getting a true picture of voting intentions across Scotland. I think another May 2011 shock awaits the NO/BT/UKOK cabal when the result of the only poll that matters is announced!

  22. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    They’re con artists. Shysters, not pollsters.

  23. Angusman says:

    Filled in the same poll. Fortunately I’ve been doing their pools for a month or so, so I have some experience of their tricks. I had anticipated this manoeuvre and answered the first question with their follow-up question in mind.
    I won’t be participating in any further polls by YouGov. I also used the text boxes to fully clarify my position.
    YouGov have a very bad habit of treating Scotland as the same as UK.

  24. cath says:

    Very sleekit. Especially since different benefit rates have been mooted for the regions.

  25. Macart says:

    That is just plain sneaky.

  26. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    But look, all this seems merely to be designed to demoralise the Yes campaign. Who on earth is going to decide to vote No because a survey said most people wanted to share the oil wealth with England? Deceptive questions or not?

    It’s no more than “yah boo you’re going to lose”. It doesn’t mean that at all of course, and it isn’t going to affect the outcome anyway. It’s like the UKIP vote. It’s being used to paint a picture to make us depressed, that’s all.

    It’s more likely it’s luring them into a false sense of security.

  27. taysideterrier says:

    @Morag Graham Kerr said
    “But look, all this seems merely to be designed to demoralise the Yes campaign. Who on earth is going to decide to vote No because a survey said most people wanted to share the oil wealth with England? Deceptive questions or not?

    It’s no more than “yah boo you’re going to lose”. It doesn’t mean that at all of course, and it isn’t going to affect the outcome anyway. It’s like the UKIP vote. It’s being used to paint a picture to make us depressed, that’s all.

    It’s more likely it’s luring them into a false sense of security”

    Agreed, what you said,

    And the fact the markets will take a hissy fit and in the Quebec referendum when a poll showing yes in the lead the Canadian dollar lost 1.5% overnight.

    There is no way they would let that happen, no chance, zero, zip, nada. the markets are all they seem care about.

  28. Davy says:

    Look if the polling companys are doing that type of nonsense when gathering their data, its all the better for us, as they are deluding themselves and the people who are paying them to conduct these polls.

    The trend of the polls regardless of the fiddling is still upwards for YES, that must tell us something and it is definately scaring the shite out Westminster, why else would they refuse to publish their very very expensive poll.

    We do the work we will gain the rewards, just keep going.

  29. taysideterrier says:

    seem >to< care about!

  30. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Very much like the leading questions in the poll you published last week. It isn’t the polling companies which make up the questions much of the time. It’s the organisations that pay them

  31. Lockie says:

    The good thing is on the 18/09/2014, there is one question, make sure we all tick YES & yougov can feck off

  32. Grouse Beater says:

    What was the point of inviting an inane Daily Mail hack onto Scotland 2014?

    What does he know about anything? All he will do, and did, is try to give the impression there are three different alternatives to independence – a bare-faced lie.

    The Mail’s entire effort aims at victory to maintain the staus quo at the cost of Scotland’s prosperity and the hopes and aspirations of its people.

    What is so different about the Mail’s hack that his opinion does not need challenged, but instead, he is invited to express ‘insight’ and ‘objectivity’?

    Who at BBC Scotland thought a Mail hack was objective?

    The BBC manufactures consent by presenting an anti-Scotland individual as a man with a benign overview. The BBC can claim it is helping to move the debate along. Putting up a representative, a woman, from Labour for Independence as the other pundit merely adds to viewer’s confusion. They wonder, as I do, why pay a high fee for to import Sarah Smith if she cannot handle the subsiduary guests one at a time? Can she not sum up?

    We see two opposing politicians in debate, then the BBC gives us two opposing pundits who will disagree as much as the two politicians, and on the same issues.

    They are just as partisan.

    What understanding, what illumination, did they bring to the previous speakers, Sturgeon and Alexander?


  33. galamcennalath says:

    Years since I have done a survey. I can’t even remember if it was even political. However I distinctly remember a feeling of … ‘I wish I had answered earlier questions differently’, as the survey unfolded. So I suspect the techniques described have been part of the way they operate for decades.

    What’s the purpose of the survey? If it’s to gain genuine information on what people think, then the client will ask for this. However, if the client has an agenda then they can ask a polling company to collect statistics which support their objectives.

    BT will have reached a stage where this latter approach is generally what they want. Ammunition to prove they are leading. They pay their money and the polling company supplies what the client wants.

    The problem is, of course, there are a lot of people out there who think all polling is honest sampling of opinions. They don’t appreciate it can also be a propaganda tool.

  34. Catherine says:

    Great analysis by Nikkii of the way YouGov manipulated (and probably do manipulate as a matter of course) respondents answers.

  35. Nikkii says:

    @Liz Mann – I would love to see screen shots of the questions – for nothing else than to check I remembered them right!

    I’ve been doing YouGov surveys for years – I have managed to get a £50 cheque of them (takes forever) I don’t recall this one asking me what I vote but I guess they pretty much have that on record – which might explain why this is the first indyref survey I’ve ever been invited to take part in albeit a disguised one (to start with). I also filled in the last page telling them I would be more than a bit peed off if they twisted my answers to support the union.

  36. Lou Nisbet says:

    There is another more positive outcome possible from misleading polls. The NO vote is very soft. Many possible NO voters will be dissuaded from voting because they think it’s a sure thing.

    If you observe humans carefully you may see that many times they are driven by fear to do the very thing that they are afraid of. Thus YouGov and others think that biased polls SUPPORT their campaigns when in fact they do the opposite.

    A false NO lead may be worth 7 points in the actual vote so a 44% YES with that 7 points would be enough to win the referendum. (Hint – the SNP share of the 2011 SGE was 44%)

  37. Greannach says:

    I’m surprised the Sarah Smith Show is still be aired given reports about plummeting viewing figures. I haven’t bothered watching any of it as I haven’t watched BBC Scotland for years as there’s far more reliable stuff on QVC.

  38. gordoz says:

    A Lesson in why not to trust polls.

    Typical establishment shit all ready for ‘Lord in waiting’ Broon to regusgitate the pooling & sharing bollocks.

    Christ he does get an easy time on TV.

    O/T does anyone know if Prof Tomkins was paid for the Herald Article ?? It didn’t say at the end of the article.

  39. Nikkii says:

    I’ve been saying for oooh “years” now – I fear the day a poll shows a Yes lead – soft Yes voters leave it to the definites … soft No voters decide to look out a brolly just in case the polls are accurate… Then I feel guilty for wanting the electorate to be manipulated. Best scenario is polls show 50/50 and everyone votes – or we BAN polls (there’s a nice idea…)

  40. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    It’s just dirty tricks, due to two polls last month showing support for Independence at 47/48%. Those polls and the steady increase in support has spooked them.

    Having said that the official YES campaign has to up their game. Hopefully they’ve been keeping their powder dry for the last few months of the campaign.

  41. gordoz says:

    Gordon Brown

    Im a proud scot and a patriotic scot ! Double Klaxon !!

    more honest if he also addes that he believes scotland is merely a region of Britain – end of; what a hasbeen discredited muppet.

    No credibility as a politician of any description… anywhere. Keep wheeling him out for a relaunch; we love his guff.

    Canavan very good at rubbishing Labour policy.

    MacKay keech as usual (your another sell-out John and its obvious)

  42. Scots Renewables says:

    (warning – off topic)

    What about the YES balloon?

    I think it is a great idea, but at the moment it doesn’t look as if it is going to raise the necessary cash.

    Perhaps some Wingers would like to help, or are we all crowdfunded out?

  43. AnneDon says:

    I don’t see the point in asking questions which are so misleading – though I guessed from the way the figure was being bandied about by Better No politicians there was something like this behind it.

    The irony, of course, is that Westminster politicians have suggested different benefit rates for different parts of the country.

    anyhoo, if they want to con themselves, it’s their own money they’re spending.

    I have, in the YouGov comments, pointed out several times that they never define “the country”, and so I assume they mean Scotland!

  44. Grouse Beater says:

    I used to take part in BBC surveys, what programmes you watch, where and when, but I’ve never been canvassed to take part in a political poll. Inclined to be subversive, I’d probably not take the questions seriously. When it comes to personal opinion there is usually more than one answer to a question.

    Don’t know if anybody will agree, but I’m off the opinion all polls should be banned within (say) three months of an election or referendum. They can undermine confidence and introduce doubt, one way or the other.

  45. Grouse Beater says:

    Greannach says: says: I haven’t watched BBC Scotland for years as there’s far more reliable stuff on QVC

    Iffy soap aside, the Gaelic channel offers lots of quality – Eorpa maintains a high standard.

  46. G. Campbell says:

    My mum is a Yes voter and she also completed this particular Yougov poll. She said she realised the survey was being carried out on behalf of the No team about halfway through completion and that the questions seemed set up to push you towards a particular answer.

  47. HandandShrimp says:

    When I heard this poll being discussed the other day I though it sounded ridiculous and made a comment about how the results seem to be funnelled down Labour Party policy to the point that 75% agreed with their policies but only 25% voted for them.

    I suppose YouGov have to ask the questions they are paid to ask but you would think their professional pollsters winced when they saw what was being done.

  48. Mary Bruce says:

    Oh dear, the implications of this are quite serious, looks like YouGov are willing to risk their reputation to help out the no campaign. Well done whoever took the screen clips so there is evidence of their jiggery pokery.

  49. Dcanmore says:

    we’ve had … *Braveheart Klaxon* … commentator in the London Evening Standard tonight, she says with emotions running high, no doubt, in the final days of the referesndum she wouldn’t be surprised if Rupert Murdoch (friend of AS no less) gave the go-ahead for Braveheart to be shown on Sky movies.

    Apparently independence equates to emotions; while a NO vote equates to practical thinking with sensible facts. Honestly, people get paid to write this shite!

    As for polls, mass manipulation, nothing less here. The desired answers are already known, they manipulate the questions to get those answers. Remember it’s not about reflecting opinion, it’s about changing it.

  50. Chic McGregor says:

    @Roddy MacDonald

    I think this is worthwhile. I donated 27 days ago.

    Also think the Business For Scotalnd FR is worth a donation.

    The real Better Together for Scotland is supporting all those who have Scotland and Scottish aspiration to normality at heart.

  51. Taranaich says:

    @Morag: “But look, all this seems merely to be designed to demoralise the Yes campaign. Who on earth is going to decide to vote No because a survey said most people wanted to share the oil wealth with England?

    If anything, this just makes me proud that the Scots are so clearly willing to share the oil wealth outside their country, and sinks the “Scots are tight and don’t want to share” meme.

    This poll despicably leads on to conflate “pooling and sharing” with “letting Westminster do what it likes.” If you ask Scots what they think the oil money should be spent ON, how many of them are going to answer “Trident, House of Lords, HS2, London sewer system,” etc? Because that’s the reality of “pooling and sharing.”

  52. Chic McGregor says:

    U-Gov. Nuff said.

  53. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Dcanmore says:
    we’ve had … *Braveheart Klaxon* … she wouldn’t be surprised if Rupert Murdoch (friend of AS no less) gave the go-ahead for Braveheart to be shown on Sky movies.

    BTW: The top movie (e.g. “making of …”) documentary maker Laurent Bouzereau ( has produced a 20th Anniversary Braveheart documentary, for release before the Referendum.

    Interviews and filming in Scotland took place in March.

    The political aspect/impact is understood and should feature strongly.

    Just sayin’

  54. Chic McGregor says:

    How are crowdfundings dealt with in regard to yes campaign funding?

    Are they counted in total i.e. need to report more than 7.5 K or are they counted as a collection of individual small contributions?

  55. Tom Steele says:

    I can only say that the polls don’t reflect what I hear and see on the “streets”. At the very least I see the momentum 2/1 in favour of yes.

  56. Chic McGregor says:


    What happened to the heralded trashing of Wallace TV program that was promised?

  57. Davie Park says:

    Apologies for going completely off topic. I was watching a Youtube video of a debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens on the merits of the invasion of Iraq. It’s boisterous stuff and worth a watch.

    In this segment, Galloway’s eulogising of Charles Fox is very revealing and I’d love the opportunity to quote some of it back to him.

  58. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Tom Steele –


    60-65% Yes on street in Irvine (Bridgegate) over past ten days – guesstimate based on approx 9 hours actual face-to-face streetwork with totally random punters of all ages 16+.

    As unscientific as it comes, but FWIW, an honest estimate.

  59. Graeme Reid says:

    Nadhim Zahawi founder and CEO of YOU Guv till he sold up in 2010 but still remains as a non executive director. Is anybody surprised of the leading surreptitious questions of the You Guv poll ? The poll Douglass Alexander cited tonight on ref 2014 on BBC2 with these spurious results.

    Maybe legal but morally and democratically lacking.

  60. Jack Beck/Scotus says:

    Obviously any skewed polling is designed to make potential ‘soft’ yes voters despondent and less likely to bother going along to vote. I can’t think of any other motivation.

  61. ferrymckenzie says:

    “DonnyWho says:
    3 June, 2014 at 10:34 pm
    Hi a friend just phoned me to say that he posted on facebook “am off to silent protest at the bbc on Sunday 29th…. who will join me” he tried to post three times and for the first time ever he got back “failed post”, subsequently he posted something non politial which worked, followed by the same political post which failed.
    Has anybody experianced the same or is this just a series of unfortunate events?”

    Yes! Never happened before I posted a comment on…..a report on the BBC protest last Sunday! I tried several times and just blamed technology, although I was left with an uncomfortable sensation such as f/b censorship.

    No problems with any other posts

  62. chipmonkey says:

    Is there something even more sinister in the questions as they seem designed to make you feel more guilty and selfish. Perhaps they sound out whether these questions make you change your mind, which can then be played out on a larger scale. Of course we want fair distribution of wealth,but the questions are not pointing out that is not what we are getting. Robbing the deprived area to pay the wealthy one seems to be the current plan in place. Back to the Boris quote of spending that pound in London.

  63. Martin says:

    Good. I want every poll putting the no campaign ahead by a squillion points until the referendum. Discourages the lazier no votes, fills the BT fools with misplaced confidence and galvanises the yes campaign. Let them worry about polls, I’ll worry about the real thing.

  64. Rock says:

    “Be careful about being honest, readers. To some, it’s a weakness to be exploited.”


    Thankfully, we have had much time to wisen up, and still have 3 and a half months to enlighten those who have been slow in realising how badly they are being misled by the vested interests that make up Better Together.

  65. donald anderson says:

    Only once I was asked to do a survey. It was on newspapers. Not one Scottish newspaper was mentioned in the poll, crap though they were.

  66. Helpmaboab says:

    Pardon me for donning my tin-foil hat but I’ve completed several referendum polls in recent months and I view the pollsters with deep suspicion. Leading questions designed to suit the patron’s agenda are commonplace.

    Then there was an incident with a Survation poll in May. (It was the one commissioned by the Sunday Express who used it to claim growing ‘tension and antagonism’ in Scotland with the subtext that this was due to vile cybernats.)

    I answered all the preliminaries which established me as a convinced Yesser. Then I reached the question about whether the referendum was causing ‘division’. I answered with an honest ‘No’ and the survey promptly crashed irretrievably.

    Coincidence? Perhaps, but my computer isn’t particularly unstable…

  67. jim arnott says:

    I think it would be a good idea if we all started referring to YouGov as YouGuff. Much more descriptive and much more London sounding.

  68. GraemeMenzies says:

    Just seen the opening comments from the blonde Geordie Business reporter on BBC this morning.

    She is in Peterhead on her weeks look at the Scottish Economy.

    words to the effect “The CBI say Scottish business will face higher taxes”

    And so it goes on……..

  69. GraemeMenzies says:

    Oops sorry,

    It was the IFS (Institute of Fiscal Studies). Apparently their (IFS) report says we will suffer bigger cuts and higher taxes.

    Apparently our exports rely not just on Whisky, but crisps and ice cream.

    Serious stuff……….

  70. Stuart Black says:

    And you get a nice T-shirt too, and quickly! 😉

  71. Ken500 says:

    The piper calls the tune. These Polls are run by PR companies out to fleece the public. Many are funded with public monies, just another racket, like the BBC and the HoL.

    BT/Darling are using £million of tapayers monies to fund Uni departments of the main pro Unionist activist. Just another way to fleece public funds. All in it together, while people are going hungry. They should be ashamed.

  72. bunter says:

    Came across an article regards the latest Ipsos Mori poll which says that ”Table 9 of the poll data lists national identity comes out at 46% Scottish, 40% equal Scottish/British and 10% British.”

    I am sure that SSAS said that 62% saw themselves as Scottish so is this not a huge difference that could possibly have reversed the result of this survey, if it was more representative?

  73. Ken500 says:

    Danny Alexander sanctioned £35K of public monies, going to one of his political mates PR company. Just another spin off of the Westminster corruption. £50K of public monies was spent on the Westminster Poll to try and deceive the British public. The results were no published.

    That’s why most of the political parties are at Westminster, for what they can get. The something for nothing culture. Never have so many been promoted above their capabilities.

  74. bunter says:

    BBC breakfast sent their wee business wifie north and having a look at Scottish food and drink.

    Guess which company she visited? Aye Mackies LOL.

    Cue uncertainty blah blah and worry over banks from the company spokesman. Ha ha you couldny make it up.

  75. Mike says:

    I took part in that survey as well, and commented at the end of it that I though that most of the questions were loaded, and were only relevant if Scotland was an independent country. I told them it was the most biased survey I had ever carried out for yougov.

  76. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Chic McGregor says:
    What happened to the heralded trashing of Wallace TV program that was promised?

    It’s gone very quiet on that front.

  77. scottish_skier says:

    Ipsos Mori poll which says that ”Table 9 of the poll data lists national identity…

    Yes, correct for Nat ID and it looks more like panelbase at 39Y/46N and that’s before we concern ourselves with any shy factor, issues with no 2011 vote weighting etc.

    The Yougov poll is just the same as the SSAS, albeit twisted to get more answers wanted.

    Basically, Scots want people accross the UK to all get a decent pension etc. However, they want Holyrood to control such things as they reserve the right to protect these in Scotland should the rUK start slashing them. Hardly news – normal people who do care about others.

    Desperation now from BT. That’s all it is. A good sign.

  78. john king says:

    Bunter says
    “Guess which company she visited? Aye Mackies LOL.”

    Im not laughing Bunter, because whats screamingly obvious to you and me, your average punter hasnt a clue about Mackies ,Tunnocks, Baxters, breahead travel’s allegiances so they read it as a balanced veiw from concerned buisnessmen, not good man not good.

  79. bigGpolmont says:

    Itoo took part in this survey but answered NO to the first question as I do not believe that benefits should be the same across the uk.We should have higher I usually qualify this in the space provided at the end of the form. However Very strange I have no recollection about being asked the second question ” that pensions and benefits in a region should only be paid for from the money raised in that region” could it be if you answered as i did that they did not ask the second question One sure way of getting the desired twisted result that they wished for!
    I will not stop doing the yougov polls I will however monitor the results very very carefully!

  80. james davidson says:

    Skewed and manipulated polls are a very useful propaganda tool. They will lead the apathetic, ignorant, and sheep to follow the lead. For them reading polls is as far as their homework goes. Although I encounter more yes than no voters, it saddens me there is a large proportion of apathetic out there.

  81. Taffie says:

    I can confirm the sequence of events outlined in the letter you recieved.

    I got an inkling that something was wrong with this survey, but the options to make the answer I wanted were not there.

    As your correspondant indicated, I do believe that in the UK pensions etc should be distributed across the UK, similarly with business taxation. This does not mean that I do not support a YES vote.

    By the time I realised where the survey was leading I had already suggested that general taxation should pay for general benefits, which I believe to be true, UK should pay for the UK, just as iScotland should pay for iScotland.

    The poll was iniquitous and typical of better together doublespeak

  82. Fergus Green says:

    O/T Salmond must have been good at 5 million questions in Dundee last night, as the Courier’s Unionist trolls are out early this morning desperate to rubbish him:

  83. Krackerman says:

    BBC trotting out the “independent” IFS again – the IFS is 95% funded by UK government and other public bodies such as the BBC… See here for details… Independent my ar$e..

    Why are the BBC never challenged on this!

  84. Grouse Beater says:

    Aye, no BBC staffers live in Scotland so London sent one of their own to Mackies – nice ‘n safe there.

    Her ‘serious’ item turned out to be an auction for charity – money raised for poor folk in the Falklands.

    One has to suppose a Yes vote will have all future Mackie’s fish swim south to live around Jersey and Guernsey.

  85. Vestas says:

    YouGov independence survey dodgy. YouGov run by diehard unionist Peter Kellner.

    Colour me surprised 😉

    YouGov polls have always been dodgy in their methodology IMHO – and that’s in England & Wales. Their “model” doesn’t work for Scotland & never has as it takes minimal account of the SNP.

  86. bunter says:

    @john king

    If I don’t laugh, with my existing blood pressure prob, I fear something may go pop! Sort of coping mechanism!

    More monstering of Salmond in papers and radio as they take another opportunity to twist Salmond’s Putin remarks.

    Salmond spent well over an hour last night talking openly about a lot of things. You would never know!

  87. James123 says:

    Oh look who’s back, the highly trusted, completely 100% totally independent and not connected to Westminster whatsoever IFS. They’ve completely updated their bullshit 50 year forecast with new bullshit which according o the BBC proves once and for all that Scotland is a basket case.

  88. Training Day says:

    Of course the real purpose of skewed polls may be to legitimise a rigged referendum result via the UK Government’s patsy the Electoral Commission (with ex BBC stalwart John McCormick at the helm). ‘No wins as predicted in the polls..’

  89. James S says:

    A good friend of mine who worked in Market Research for most of their career is fuming at the way this ‘opinion poll’ was guided to mislead the participants.

    For professionals to put their career on the line by producing such an underhanded poll must be brought to account.

    If anyone feels like sending a complaint, the MRS and the BPS have some direct links on their sites, conveniently here for reference.


    The Market Research Society is the professional body that oversees standards

    For complaints

    Professional Standards
    Julie Corney
    020 7566 1837


    Section B14 has clear guidelines prohibiting such poor conduct:

    • that Respondents are able to provide information in a way that reflects the view they want to express, including don’t know prefer not to say where appropriate;
    • that Respondents are not led towards a particular point of view;
    • that responses are capable of being interpreted in an unambiguous way;

    And from their website:
    Archived here:

    The last Q & A section:

    Q. Who ensures that YouGov polls are ‘honest and accurate’?

    A. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. YouGov is also registered with the Information Commissioner, and the majority of YouGov’s employees are members of the Market Research Society.

    The British Polling Council ( is an association of polling organisations that publish polls. The objectives of the Council ensure standards of disclosure designed to provide consumers of survey results that enter the public domain have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results.

    YouGov is bound to respond in full to any bona fide enquiries about specific published polls.

    Management Committee

    Professor John Curtice — President
    University of Strathclyde
    John Curtice is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde

    Nick Moon — Secretary
    Telephone: 020-7890 9830
    Nick Moon is Managing Director of GfK NOP Social Research

    Simon Atkinson — Member
    Telephone: 020-7347 3000
    Simon Atkinson is Assistant Chief Executive at Ipsos MORI

  90. Richard G says:

    Bunter Says
    “Came across an article regards the latest Ipsos Mori poll which says that Table 9 of the poll data lists national identity comes out at 46% Scottish, 40% equal Scottish/British and 10% British.”

    If you use the 2011 Census data on Scottish identity you do get a complete reversal of results: 55Y/45N. .

    The Ipsos Mori poll has somehow found a kind of reverse Brigadoon which seems to be a place that has people with a greater British identity than Scottish. The polling people are getting pretty desperate, and to keep the No higher they are coming up with fairly extreme ways of fudging the data – easy to spot now.

  91. Ken500 says:

    The LibDems in Aberdeenshire blocked/stopped the essential AWPR for ten years. The Labour/Unionists in ACC voted against it for thirty years. ACC has wasted £145Million of taxpayers monies. £33Million vandalising the Art Gallery. £26Million paying off AECC debts, a private company. Now intending to spend £Million on a new replacement centre. Refused a £80million gift to regenerate and predestrianise the City. Putting the City in debt for thirty years to a construction company and causing further traffic chaos by shutting off Broad Street, to build unnecessary offices. There is a shortage of hotels.

    ACC are going to charge the Shire extra to use the new pool at Sports village paid for with public monies. The City gets half it’s revenues from the Shire. Working and spending in the City paying business rates and contributing revenues to the City.

  92. caz-m says:

    While we are on the subject of joke polls, on Scotland Tonight, John Mackay (spit) tried to tell Dennis Canavan that, according to the STV poll, only 8% of Labour voters would vote YES.

    Dennis nearly fell off the couch when he heard that.

    Recent polls show that over a third (and rising) of Scottish Labour voters would back Independence.

  93. Luigi says:

    Having said that the official YES campaign has to up their game. Hopefully they’ve been keeping their powder dry for the last few months of the campaign.

    We are now in the last few months of the campaign.

    Time to start fighting back. Hit em hard!

  94. caz-m says:

    Sky News giving us a stark warning about the IFS report and how Scotland is in deep shit if we vote YES.

    No rebuttals or replies, just a straight “IFS is warning”.

  95. Fiona says:

    @ Krackerman

    When you put that information about IFS funding beside the FOI reply in another thread it tells a story, does it not?

    The whole “think tank” business is a corrupt enterprise and I have no idea why they are accorded the platform they are: they are very seldom independent: they push a position. The proliferation of such bodies since 1980 is not an accident: it is part of the undermining of our democracy.

  96. CameronB Brodie says:

    I wonder if the IFS took account of the £70bn or so in start-up assets Scotland can expect. Are these not currently performing necessary tasks or adding to income? Has the OBR already notionally banked future receipts (think Enron), or are they talking crystal bollocks?

  97. bunter says:

    @ Luigi

    I agree, the Naws must be about to run out of steam reduced to regurgitating the same old rubbish. I think the YES campaign has seemed to me, been on the back foot since its launch, taken a non stop pounding, but still holding and gaining ground slightly.

    I am hoping that YES have been holding back as a tactic, but the time has come for a fightback.

    One of my hopes was that the ongoing Fiscal Commission members would at some point come out all guns blazing in the media, and trash these so called think tanks like the OBR and IFS. Are these Nobel Laureates happy at their reputation being rubbished?

    And why are YES so coy about all the stuff we know about, all the stuff we pay for but located down south, all the infrastructure, jobs, Crossrail, HS2, all at the expense of Scotland.

  98. seanair says:

    Fergus Green
    Comments seem to have disappeared from website but won’t be reading them anyway. I’m sure The Courier gave AS an impartial review of his speech.
    Is Andrew Liddle related to Billy Bunter? ( For older gadgies only).

  99. bunter says:

    A_DarlingMP ?@A_DarlingMP · 38 mins
    China, a separatist country, held a massacre 25 years ago today. It is yet another reason why Scotland is safer in the Union. #NoToYES #UKOK

    Does anyone else think the above tweet is a disgrace?

  100. Sinky says:

    Excellent piece by George Kerevan over on Newsnet Scotland about Gordon Brown and Jimmy Maxton.

  101. kendomacaroonbar says:

    @ Bunter

    Are you certain it’s not a spoof account ?

  102. bunter says:

    Aye, think its a spoof lol. Fell for it but you must admit its harder and harder to tell!

  103. Mary Bruce says:

    Bunter: did A_DarlingMP on twitter have a YES twibbon on their profile picture by any chance?

  104. Capella says:

    @ James123
    “Oh look who’s back, the highly trusted, completely 100% totally independent and not connected to Westminster whatsoever IFS. They’ve completely updated their bullshit 50 year forecast with new bullshit which according o the BBC proves once and for all that Scotland is a basket case.”
    Brilliant summary! Should be the front page of all the newspapers today.
    Interesting comments too about Facebook blocking posts on PQ demo. Since social media are routinely used to organise these events, is it possible they are now recruited by UK gov to block these posts?

  105. Macart says:

    Another beezer by WGD this morning.

    Takes the wind out the Michael White piece in the Graun.

  106. Westie7 says:

    BBC IFS Report,
    ha ha, had to laugh as the next story down is a call to increase the minimum wage trumpeted by SLAB.
    So were too poor, too large a public sector budget but here spend more, You cant make this stuff up.
    It does appear that since 31st May every story on the BBC has been a doom story giving soundbites to SLAB/CON

  107. bunter says:

    @Mary Bruce

    Aye lol to my shame I saw it when I checked.
    New to twitter Ha Ha.

  108. Liquid Lenny says:

    Manx Radio this morning 8am news, obviously took a link from UK news and pushed the IFS scare for all its worth including Three naws saying we don’t want to pay more taxes just to be independant, now I was a bit sleepy at that time but Im sure that they say the deficit would be 8bn a year, Well multiply by 12 and that similar to the UK deficit, and as far as I am aware that IFS figure included 4bn per annum for UK annual debt. Now we have said we are only going to pay our “share” of the interest payments after our share of the assets have been deducted if there is a currency union.

    Two things, the IFS are saying that there will be a currency union, secondly they will be using the normal UK spending, I doubt very much if they have taken the cost of Trident, Foreign Military bases, London Cross rail, H2S etc from our outgoings.

    So basically a story to scare the lieges, Nobody from the YES side asked to give the facts.

    I also wonder why the UK are finally moving to the same Accounting system as the rest of the EU on Sept 30th 2014, this means that off balance sheet liabilities like PFI, the Public Sector pension liabilities etc will come on the books.

    This will add about £1.4 Trillion to on balance sheet debt giving a total of more than 3 trillion pounds.

    Gordon Brown when he was PM promised the markets that they would move to (UN ? ) accounting system , they have delayed doing so, why now, is it that they know there are going to lose the referendum and are trying to saddle Scotland with more debt?

  109. Papadox says:

    Watched ECK at Dundee uni last night and was his usual knowledgable comfortable self well on top of his subject and very well received, a first class show.

    Watched bits of Brown talking at his audience with “facts that had been gleaned by some slanted polling data” re pensions, benefits ect. A choreographed and scripted bunch of manipulated data. It really was for the feeble minded. Which would explain why Jola was there.

    Watched a little of Danny the rat mumbling through Nicholas answer on 2014 Scotland, he really is a rodent and nasty with it.

    Saw some of Dennis Canavan with john McKay. Now there is a sincere politician.

    Media shows and presenters crap.


    They are treating the electorate like mushrooms “keep them in the dark feed then shite and they thrive” certainly working for the unionist parties.

  110. Les Wilson says:

    Sorry O/T
    I came across an article today about immigration in various parts of the world, I was struck by this –

    “Those nations which welcome them will thrive. Those nations which punish them will decline. It’s always been this way.”

    Food for thought!

  111. TJenny says:

    Bunter – that A_Darling twitter acct is a parody account. If you check the profile, it says so. However, it’s so very credible too. 🙂

  112. Ken500 says:


    Ignorant fiddling statistics.

    Gordon Brown yesterday’s man, living in the past. Not good at Maths or economics.

  113. Jim Thomson says:


    you need to keep an eye open for the spoof BetterTogether one too. Some chuckle-worthy stuff on that too.

  114. Nana Smith says:

    Just been speaking with my postie who agrees the referendum coverage by stv is just as biased as the bbc.
    He speaks with folks daily & is thoroughly disheartened by all the doom laden coverage coming at us from all sides and he tells me it is having an effect on the elderly he chats with. Some who were for yes are now very undecided and have only got the tv and radio to go by.

    The yes campaign need to get pushing the truth and soon.

  115. heedtracker says:

    @ Papadox, Check out this morns progressive/liberal vote no Guardian getting more than a little aroused by latest Project Fearing it with Crash and co.

    “But, weirdly, no feels a lot less negative when you see it everywhere like this. It seems active. It reminds me of no-nonsense, taking no shit, no means no.”

    The “shit” is Scotland running Scotland with PR Holyrood but pity Severin Carrell 2.0 hasn’t the guts to say no means NO to democracy in Scotland though.

  116. perhaps Rev Stu should do a complete series on electoral fraud and vote rigging to remind the naive that there are bad people out there.

    Presumably, none of those above were wearing their “YES” badges when stopped by pollsters.

    I make it a strict rule – to LIE – to pollsters.

    When pollsters will rig the questions, I feel it is my duty to reciprocate. Rigged questions deserve rigged answers.

  117. kendomacaroonbar says:

    When I think back to the faux outrage over the Indy question “Do you agree..” was a deliberate attempt to sway the voter, the volume of MSM coverage over the “Nats” guile to deliberately influence the vote.

    Since then, we have had a constant tsunami of unionist poison and false prophets *demanding* queensbury rules whilst running a street fighting campaign. Who within the MSM is holding them to account ?

  118. Simon Chadwick says:

    One of George Monbiot’s books, I think it was “The Age of Consent”, discussed issues of democracy and government on a world scale, and one of the things it touched on was income inequality and redistribution. There is a kind of logical ideal where if you agree with redistribution via taxation etc. then it should be global, why shouldnt every human being get the same benefits and pensions? How is it fair that purely by the chance of being born in the UK a person gets such a much higher quality of life than someone born in central Africa?

    Some people might say that the UK givernment agrees and has been working hard since 2008 to reduce the quality of life of ordinary UK citizens towards the global average…

  119. kendomacaroonbar says:

    @ Nana Smith

    That is the most depressing aspect about this campaign… control through fear.

    I truly despair.

  120. heedtracker says:

    Gordon Brown/Alistair Darling/Labour in Scotland ran up giant debt, Trident, illegal middle east war, protecting super rich City, hundreds of billions pumped into the South East and now they project fear Scotland with their own spendthrift insanity. Even the most British crazed Thatch worshipping Daily Mail ligger couldn’t invent this bettertogether farce.

  121. heedtracker says:

    @ kendomacaroonbar, truly despair? Just laugh at the fraudsters.

  122. CameronB Brodie says:

    I think this goes some way to explaining why the world is shaped the way it is. Never knew Monbiot supported the NWO. Mmmmmm. 😉

    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

  123. Nana Smith says:


    me too…up here there doesn’t seem to be much discussion taking place and no great meetings.I think Tommy Sheridan is coming to Inverness soon but a visit from the cabinet or at least some on the yes team wouldn’t go amiss.
    All the rural communities need to see its not just the large towns and cities that mean the most.

  124. Papadox says:

    EBC 24 just saw a full screen shot of the vermin wi the ermine. My it must make the BT UNIONISTS so so proud.

  125. bunter says:

    Despise these ermine clad numpties and the fawning BBC talking heads on the opening of parliament.

  126. bunter says:

    Angus Robertson just nailed Ming the merciless when he attempted the more powers lie. Angus asked if its so important, will we here about them in todays queens speech.

    Good stuff Angus!

  127. The Rough Bounds says:

    Regarding polls and surveys etc.

    Michael Crichton in his book ‘State of Fear’ (pub. 2004) explained how it was easy to manipulate people into giving desired answers and gave examples of the techniques used.

    He summed it up neatly: ”Expectations determine outcomes’.

  128. Lanarkist says:

    YouGuff- Led by the No’s.

  129. ronnie anderson says:

    Noo remember people join in the chorus, when the Queen sends

    Black Boab to fetch the commoners

    Knock Three Times On The Ceiling If You Want Me

    Ah Toot On The Pipe if The Answer is NAW

  130. call me dave says:

    @ronnie anderson

    LOL good one!

    When will it ‘Dawn’ on folk that we could do a much less expensive show up in Scotland but more relevant to the people.

  131. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Ah, the IFS. The one the BBC referred to as ‘highly respected.’

    They also mentioned the OBR this morning. Referred to them as ‘independent.’ I was not long up, hadn’t had my first coffee of the day and was still cursing tripping over the cat when I heard that. I was not having a good first ten minutes of wakefulness… then I heard ‘highly respected’ and ‘independent’ and couldn’t stop chuckling for about ten minutes.

    The BBC do know this is a campaign period, right? Because what they were trotting out this morning was pure, unadulterated UK Government propaganda. Very naughty.

  132. katsoft says:

    Wish all you guys would get off Gordies back. The wee man is only looking out for his pocket. We vote YES and poor Gordies oot a job. Ye caanie really blame him. It wisnae his fault he selt the gold reserve at rock bottom prices, it wisnae his fault that the banks ran roughshod over us. He wis only following orders…….From the banks and financial organisations, just as he’s doing now!

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