I've just had this bizarre exchange on Twitter with the ultra-Blairite commentator David Aaronovitch, who appears to have been seeing things again (and no, I'm not talking about Saddam Hussein's WMDs this time) -
Yes Scotland : YouGov poll finds that fewer than a third of people in Scotland support staying the way we are.
David Aaronovitch : You somehow seem to have left out the figure for those supporting independence. Perhaps you could correct that now?
Stand Free : According to Unionists' own poll more Scots back independence than status quo...there...fixed it for you.
David Aaronovitch : I ask again. What was the figure for Yes in poll cited by Yes Scotland? Because, unaccountably, they didn't say.
Me : There isn't a figure for 'Yes' because there wasn't a 'Yes/No' question asked. However, the status quo favoured by the No camp got 29% support, and independence got 30% support. Hope that helps.
David Aaronovitch : I think you'll find that a Yes/No question was indeed asked. It would be very odd if it wasn't.
Me : No, David, it wasn't. And yes, it was unbelievably odd. Take it up with your beloved No campaign.
David Aaronovitch : Explain?
Me : You do realise you've been talking about a multi-option poll commissioned by the No campaign, yes?
David Aaronovitch : Referendum voting intention is the 2nd question on that poll. It doesn't matter who commissioned it.
Me : The point is that it wasn't a straight 'Yes/No' question, and that was decided by the campaign that commissioned it. Agreed?
Me : Neither, incidentally, can it be described as a "voting intention" question, because a multi-option ref is not taking place.
* * *
For reference, here is the full poll question under discussion -
What is your preferred constitutional option for Scotland?
a) Devolution inside the United Kingdom as Scotland has now.
b) Devolution inside the United Kingdom, but with more powers for the Scottish Parliament.
c) Scotland becoming an independent country.
d) Don't know.
Good luck finding a straight 'Yes/No' question buried in there somewhere.