The mainstream media have characterised this as the Scottish people being ‘split’ on the question: ‘Theresa May should insist that any second Scottish referendum on independence takes place only once Britain has concluded the process of leaving the EU.’
ComRes interviewed only 185 Scottish ‘adults’. Did that include 16 year-olds? 48% responded ‘no’, 44% responded ‘yes’ and 8% said they didn’t know. It’s very common to leave out the ‘don’t knows’ and do the calculations again.
Only 47% of the total Scottish electorate voted No in Referendum 2014.
The 8% ‘don’t knows’ in the survey amount to 15 people, the 48% amount to 89 people and the 44% amount to 81. So with 170 holding an actual view we have 89 out of 170 or more than 52% saying ‘yes’. Does that seem a bit marginal to you? What does that 52% remind me of? Oh yes, the Brexit leave vote was 52% but with 13 million non-voters and not just 15 non-respondents.
We’ve only just started to debate this issue and, as far as I can see, the ComRes question was posed without contextual data such as how long are we actually talking about. If the question had been: ‘Theresa May should insist that any second Scottish referendum on independence takes place no sooner than early 2019.’ What might the result have been?
If the poll had asked a reasonable sample of at least 1 000 Scots what might the result have been?