In the Herald yesterday:

THE MAJORITY of Scots believe independence is distracting from more pressing issues, according to a new poll. The survey of more than 1000 people found that a third believed independence was one of the most important issues facing the country, however 52% thought it was a distraction.

This comes from a YouGov poll for the Scottish Fabians, described misleadingly as a ‘think tank.’ The Scottish Fabians are a leftist, openly pro-Union activist group with a long-term hostility to the SNP and to the wider Scottish independence movement, which they prefer to portray as narrow nationalist, ignoring its demonstrable leftist thrust.

You’ll get a taste of the kind of thinking they like best, working with the Tories, at:

https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/08/12/scottish-fabians-prefer-an-unholy-pact-with-tory-england-over-their-supposed-progressive-values/

I have requested but cannot so far access the actual research report with, crucially, the data and the questions asked, so must limit my criticism to what I can detect.

First, of course, the selective release of the report to chosen reporters or newspapers, as is common in trade union surveys, suggests they’d prefer to limit scrutiny for fear of criticism.

Second, in the Herald report, there is what seems to be evidence of leading questions, putting ideas in the mind of those responding and biasing the results.

For example, the herald report refers to ‘voters agreed that IndyRef was a distraction from other important topics.’ If the question asked was anything like that, the responses will be skewed.

Keeping the above in mind, that only 52% agreed, casts their headline claim into serious doubt.

If I get the full report, I’ll come back to this.