Until very recently, Wikipedia's list of UK opinion polls was immaculately inclusive - it had a separate column for each party that enjoyed a non-trivial level of support. So the Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, UKIP and Change UK were all there. I was shocked to discover last night that the SNP and Plaid have been arbitrarily removed, with their voters instead lumped together into an "others" column. What makes this change particularly perverse is that UKIP and Change UK still have their own columns, even though they both routinely poll significantly lower than the SNP. To put it in perspective, the SNP's support in GB-wide polls always falls in a range between 2% and 6%, and almost always falls in a range between 3% and 5%. By contrast, Change UK have been on either 0% or 1% in all of the last ten polls, and UKIP have only been as high as 2% once in the last ten polls. There can be no conceivable justification for taking the SNP out if Change UK and UKIP are to be left in. And let's face it, there'd be no conceivable justification anyway. The SNP are the third largest party in the House of Commons and the largest party by far in one of the constituent nations of the UK. Those facts alone should put an end to any dispute.
Now, before anyone trots out the standard response of "anyone can edit Wikipedia, so don't complain, just put it right yourself", it isn't quite as simple as that. Someone has already attempted to reverse the edit, but within literally one minute the SNP and Plaid were removed again, with the following 'explanation' appended to the edit history -
"Please see the discussion on talk - strong consensus for removal of at least some columns, namely SNP/Plaid among most"
So I checked the Talk page, and as I suspected, this "strong consensus" turned out to consist of an in-group of only about six or seven people, all enthusiastically agreeing with each other based on their shared Anglocentric trance that it somehow makes perfect sense to remove the SNP but to retain parties that have far less support than the SNP. Before you look at the discussion, I should probably put a health warning on it, because it dismisses the SNP and Plaid as "regional" parties who should only ever be mentioned in the context of their own "areas" and who are "irrelevant" to the "national" picture. Someone quite reasonably points out that similar pages for other countries manage without any great fuss to include separate columns for ten or more parties, so there's no actual need for the UK page to be artificially edited down to seven. But that argument was shouted down on the basis that other countries have proportional representation and we don't, meaning that parties with relatively low percentage support can't hope to win seats. Which is a bit of a circular argument, because if the requirement for inclusion is the ability to win seats, how can you possibly exclude a party whose support is so geographically concentrated that it currently holds 35 seats under first-past-the-post and looks set to win considerably more in the next general election?
The only way of getting this ridiculous decision overturned is to change the "consensus" on the Talk page. I've made my point there already, but I'm only one voice. So if you're a Wikipedia editor and if you feel as strongly about this as I do, I would recommend that you leave a comment there and help to break the Anglo groupthink. If you're not familiar with commenting on Wikipedia Talk pages, you need to hit the edit button in the top right hand corner as if you were editing an article, and then simply add in your own comment in the appropriate place. You then 'sign' your comment by adding four tildes (~~~~) at the end of it.