Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Surging" sideways

This poll finding was the cause of much nat-ecstasy earlier on this week:

The SNP/TNS poll, which questioned 910 people during the worst of the recent weather, asked simply: “If a referendum were to be held tomorrow, would you support or oppose the following proposal? The Scottish Government proposes that the Scottish Parliament’s powers and responsibilities should be extended to enable independence to be achieved.”

The results show a marked change from 12 months ago, when 31 per cent were in favour and 46 per cent against and will surprise analysts who believed the SNP is suffering from a collapse in popularity.

The SNP naturally swallowed the hyperbole bill and alleged a “surge in the support for independence”... but look at that question again… very, very carefully.

Now compare it to the one asked by TNS this time last year, the very one which that "surge" is being measured against:
I AGREE that the Scottish Government should negotiate a settlement with the Government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state.
No mucking about there but see the discrepancy between the 2009 and the 2010 versions?

If the SNP had really wanted to prove to us how much the appetite for separation had changed over the last 12 months, then you would have thought they would have got TNS to ask the more direct question again wouldn’t you? But they didn't.

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