PRN: Ashcroft Poll Reveals Bias in SNP'S Referendum Question
Ashcroft Poll Reveals Bias in SNP'S Referendum Question
LONDON, February 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The question that Alex Salmond plans to use in a Scottish independence referendum may be biased towards a "Yes" vote, according to a new poll by Lord Ashcroft.
Mr Salmond revealed last week that he wants the question on the ballot paper to be: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?" In Lord Ashcroft's poll, 41% of Scots answered "yes" to this question, 59% "no".
At the same time, a separate group was asked: "Do you agree or disagree that Scotland should be an independent country?" This time Scots disagreed by 61% to 39% - a Â margin four points wider than in Mr Salmond's proposed question, which only asks if people agree. Though a relatively small change, within the margin of error for polls of this size, a shift in voting on this scale could change the outcome in a close campaign.
Finally, Lord Ashcroft's poll asked a third group of Scots: "Should Scotland become an independent country, or should it remain part of the United Kingdom?" In this version, support for independence fell to 33%, with 67% preferring to stay in the UK.
Commenting on the results, Lord Ashcroft said: "The fact that results change according to how you ask a question is not startling news. What is clear, though, is that the SNP have chosen the version of the question most likely to deliver the answer that would most please them.
"Alex Salmond is committed to asking the Scottish people whether they want independence, but he is equally determined to get the answer he wants. The question is too important to be asked in such a partisan way."
Notes to editors:
* 3,090 adults aged 18+ were interviewed in Scotland between 26 and 31 January 2012. Results have been weighted to be representative of all adults in Scotland.
* See conservativehome.com for Lord Ashcroft's full commentary on the poll.
* See lordashcroft.com for the full polling data.
LORD ASHCROFT Â SCOTTISH REFERENDUM POLL
26 - 31 JANUARY 2012
3,090 adults in Scotland aged 18+ were interviewed online between 26 and 31 January 2012. Results have been weighted to be representative of all adults in Scotland. See lordashcroft.com for full data tables.
Split sample A