Another new poll! It seems that almost every week there’s a new poll on Scottish ‘independence’. But, what’s the deal? Why are there so many, and do they really mean we’re on the inevitable road to ‘independence’? Short answer — Nope. Here’s how Nationalists manipulate polls, and why.
#1 Choose a pollster that gives them the result they want
James Kelly (@JamesKelly) of Pop Goes Scot admits that he uses Panelbase polls to get a better result for Yes.
‘Panelbase have produced really good results for Yes recently, better than some other firms. Or, I could go with another firm, which might be not be quite so good for Yes, and get a quick result.’
James was all over Twitter trying to claim that the words he said didn’t actually come out of his own mouth.
So James chose another pollster and – surprise, surprise – didn’t get the result he wanted: 45% Yes, 43% No and 12% Don’t Knows (who break for No). He tried to spin it, but it was an epic fail.
You might think that, when choosing a pollster, accuracy would be more important than trying to get the result you want. Because if you don’t do that, you’ll not only fool people, you’ll make a FOOL of yourself when your predictions fail. Remember this?
Unless your goal is to fool people. In that case, you choose a pollster that gives you the result you want, and get them to ask leading questions. Questions that won’t be asked in a referendum. Questions about a referendum that isn’t even going to happen.