Friday, September 25, 2015

Press & Journal embarrass themselves again by commissioning yet ANOTHER independence "poll" from a firm that specialises in bridalwear events

Long-term readers of this blog may recall that during the referendum campaign, the Press & Journal published two "polls" with utterly fantastical results - the second had the No campaign ahead by 65% to 17%.  My initial reaction at the time was that these must be either outright voodoo polls (ie. self-selecting readers' polls) or 'half-breed' polls.  In fact, it turned out they had been conducted by telephone, but by an Aberdeen-based firm called 'Ideas In Partnership' which, among other things, specialises in bridalwear events.  To say that they are not a member of the British Polling Council does not even begin to do justice to how many light-years away they are from being a credible pollster.  Needless to say, there is no transparency over their methodology, which is highly unlikely to be scientifically rigorous.

Seemingly following the philosophy that a schoolboy howler will look less bad if you commit it as many times as humanly possible, the Press & Journal have today splashed with a new "poll" from the same firm claiming that voters in the North-East and the Highlands reject the idea of a second referendum by 69% to 31%.  Given how far removed from reality the results of the voting intention "polls" were, the mind boggles as to how big an adjustment we'd have to make to arrive at more realistic numbers - the true position could easily be more like 50/50.

The likelihood is that this is a firm that in its normal line of work is used to dealing with relatively affluent clients.  It's therefore attracting a disproportionately high response rate from anti-independence voters, and is then failing to weight the results appropriately.  Hilariously, the Press & Journal openly admit that only 44% of the sample was male.  I'm sure somebody could double-check the figures from the census, but does it seem remotely likely that 56% of the voting-age population of the North-East and the Highlands is female?  The age profile of the sample looks extremely suspect as well, with a whopping 32% aged 65 or over.

The question asked was also leading - it used the totally unnecessary introductory words "given the current political climate", which was presumably intended to steer anyone who likes the idea of a second referendum to think "oh, but surely I don't want one in the current political climate!"

Basically, ignore it.  The P&J might as well have saved themselves the cash and just invented the results - they probably would have been closer to the mark that way.  Incidentally, they also give the misleading impression that this "poll" is somehow in tune with national findings, by praying in aid a YouGov poll from a couple of weeks ago.  But that poll asked a very specific question about whether or not the SNP should promise to hold a referendum in their 2016 manifesto.  Polls that have asked broader questions about when and if a second referendum should be held have consistently found that there is majority support for it to happen within a decade or so.

28 comments:

  1. Their clientèle are women who are spending their time thinking of the big day. Things like politics (and especially added change of circumstance) are not welcome.

    What next? A poll conducted by the Conservative Ladies Guild?

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 25, 2015 at 11:57 PM

      Anon, those women are the future breeder's of Nat sis do not knock them!

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    2. Get a life preferably somewhere else oops I've replied to a unionist troll.

      Delete
  2. P&J isn't even a credible newspaper. I suspect that what is left of its paying readership is also well past marriageable age. Scot Nats wont buy it or open not unless they intend to give themselves rabies. Oh and not even to read to utterings of one Alex Salmond could get ant sane ones to buy it. The Dons fans like myself just go on line to catch up with the latest happenings at Pittodrie.

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    1. @ Iam More.
      You are never past marriageable age as my lawyer has told me, several times.

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    2. You must be loaded then?

      I will be running for the door quickly after that comment. She has a frying pan in her hand already ))))

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  3. James, I'm sure all the Yessers who read your blog would appreciate it if you sent a letter to the Editor of this rag pointing out all the faults you highlight.
    It would be good to hear the Editor's defence, although he might be so crass that he doesn't publish your letter. Well that might make it even worse for the paper' s circulation.

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    1. Letters to the Editor ??????? forgive me for laughing, Most yesers have given up writing to this Rag, If you somehow get your letter published it tends to be heavily "" Edited""

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    2. You only get your letter published in the P&J if it is

      a) to complain about how Alex Salmond /Nicola Sturgeon promised that there wouldn't be another referendum for a generation

      b) to complain about how the SNP are destroying Loch Ness with wind farms.

      The paper is an utter joke. I have the misfortune to see it at work but I haven't bought a copy for years.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 26, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      So you actually bought it. You must be a Sun Reader.

      Delete
  4. If this turns out to actually be a random survey, it must have been conducted during midweek afternoons to get such a large number of old women answering the phone.
    The "current political climate" would also imply an immediate second referendum, when opinions vary about an acceptable timescale.

    I suppose they just want the front page propaganda, and aren't really concerned about credibility.

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  5. More lies from that joke of a paper. The cringe in all its shame.....

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  6. James,Aberdeen Journals are now owned by D.C.Thompson and the P&J is now published in Dundee. Coming from the same stable as the Beano,Dandy and Sunday Post this is the level of journalistic accuracy you would expect..

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  7. Where was it conducted, Balmoral? 😂

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  8. James could you report them to the British polling council? It's not so much the poll, more the P&J reporting this as credible.

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    1. No, they's not members, so the BPC don't have any jurisdiction. It's just a voluntary body, albeit one that all the serious pollsters are part of (with the exception of Ashcroft, who apparently does his best to adhere to BPC rules anyway).

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  9. Oh well so the P&J can basically make up news and present it as fact. Same old.

    Their endgame is obviously to try and present independence as abnormal and Unionism the norm. Sounds like they are completely out of touch with social media. Appealing to the twin set and pearls brigade. Awful journalism.

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  10. Oh well so the P&J can basically make up news and present it as fact. Same old.

    Their endgame is obviously to try and present independence as abnormal and Unionism the norm. Sounds like they are completely out of touch with social media. Appealing to the twin set and pearls brigade. Awful journalism.

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  11. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 25, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    The Nat sis need to be held to account moreso their lies challenged about austerity. They blame the Tories but have tax raising powers to end it. Tax the rich end the Nat si scam.

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  12. All this does is make the P&J look silly.Out of touch.Irrelevant.

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  13. I understand that hard core Yessers won't buy the P+J but there will be many floating voters who read it and many who won't claim to follow politics closely. P+J has daily sales of 64000 which is more than the Herald and Scotsman combined. It's very important that we challenge their propaganda. Well done James.

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  14. The p & j is an obsequeous rag that's in love with royalty and narrow-minded unionism. Yes it has a large circulation for the area but most people, I would suggest, buy it just to check the births, deaths & marriages bit.

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  15. Ah Yes the P&J. That is the paper of choice for my local utterly totally useless Independent Highland Councillor to get her picture in. She is very good at that but virtually nothing else. I imagine that is why they are so fond of putting in her picture.

    The age profile in the poll makes me think that they got at least some of their list from the P&J themselves, since the over 70s probably constitute the majority of their readers.

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  16. All I will say is what was the result in the NE of Scotland again? 60/40 No, and this in the SNP heartlands. So actually the poll isn't that fantastical afterall...

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