Tuesday, October 15, 2019

False alarm: Panelbase haven't stopped using the 2014 referendum question

So just to briefly tie up a loose end from the blogpost on Sunday, it turns out that Britain Elects were wrong (gasp!) and in fact Panelbase did not alter the wording of the question they asked about independence for the Sunday Times poll - it was the usual question, with the 2014 referendum wording.  So that's good news - it means that a BBC journalist's criticism of the SNP for "promoting" a poll with a non-Yes/No question was based on a false premise, and it also means that the pro-Yes trend in the poll hasn't been called into question by methodological changes.

In a nutshell: false alarm.

*  *  *

I've just caught up with yet another polling post on Wings Over Scotland, and I really do have to reiterate that it's deeply reprehensible for him to be seeking to pass the blame onto Panelbase for his own biased and leading questions about the trans issue (and indeed about other issues).  Here's what he said this time -

"Some of those polls have been conducted by this site, and are invariably leapt on by trans activists as having featured supposedly “leading” or “unfair” questions, even though we check all our questions with Panelbase first and the results have without exception been identical, often to within a single percentage point, to those revealed in polls featuring differently-worded questions commissioned by extremely trans-friendly organisations like Pink News."

If I thought for one moment that he'd asked Panelbase "are these questions leading?" and that they had said "no", then I would be criticising Panelbase and saying they had to accept a share of the blame.  But I just don't believe that's what's happened here.  This is the question he published a few days ago -

"The SNP has announced its intention to implement 'self-ID' legislation, whereby physically-male people will have unrestricted access to all female-only spaces and services (eg. toilets, hospital wards, changing rooms, sporting competitions and women's refuges) if they declare themselves to be women, whether or not they've had any medical treatment or surgery to change their sex.

On a scale of 0 to 10, how do you feel about this proposal?"

It's absolutely fatuous to suggest that any polling company would have said the above question is even-handed or neutral, and yet Mr Campbell is trying to give us the impression that Panelbase did exactly that.  In the comments section of this blog, he even provided a direct quote from an email sent to him by his Panelbase contact to try to bolster that impression.  Given how emotive this subject is, I would imagine that Panelbase are not exactly over the moon that one of their clients is effectively telling people that they've picked a side in the trans debate.  That's the inescapable implication of what Mr Campbell is saying, because anyone suggesting that his question is neutral would undoubtedly be picking a side.

My very strong suspicion is that Panelbase were answering a completely different query - I suspect they were asked if Mr Campbell's question was acceptable, and they said it was.  Acceptability and even-handedness are two entirely different things. Every day of the week, polling companies ask questions on behalf of paying clients that are calibrated to produce the best possible results for that client from a presentational point of view.  The threshold for saying "no" to a paying client is extremely high - but one reason for doing so might be that there are factual inaccuracies in the way that the question is worded.  Panelbase would certainly have been able to confirm to Mr Campbell that there were no inaccuracies in his question, and that it was therefore within the bounds of acceptability.  For Mr Campbell to portray that reply as some sort of official seal of approval, and as proof that his question is non-leading and even-handed, is deeply disingenuous and downright cynical.

He goes on to make the point that the results of his poll are similar to others with different wordings.  That's something I've noticed myself, but it doesn't give him a free pass.  Not all polls with leading questions produce misleading results, but that doesn't magically mean that the questions are all fine.

Today he's published new polling that finds only 25% of respondents think people should be able to change the sex on their birth certificate.  He insists that the wording of this latest question wasn't remotely leading.  That's fine - I actually accept that.  But I would just make the point that "Do you think that people should be able to legally change gender?" is a somewhat different question from the one he asked, and that people who answer "yes" on that point may also take a different view on whether an individual who has gone through the necessary legal process should then be able to seek an amendment to their birth certificate.  Mr Campbell's question is more legitimate than his previous ones and it does tell us something interesting, but it doesn't tell us everything.  Some of the people answering his question may not even have been taking the existence of trans people into account, and may have just answered on the basis that an individual "shouldn't be able to falsify details on their birth certificate" without realising how their responses would be interpreted.  I rather suspect that was Mr Campbell's intention, given that he was also asking people at the same time whether individuals should be able to change their date and place of birth to something false.  (Indeed the specific question asked was "which of these facts do you think people should be able to change on their birth certificate if they want to?", with the word "facts" implying that any change would be a departure from accuracy.)  So not a leading question as such, but a potentially deceptive question in a slightly different way.

And remember I say all of this as someone who is broadly opposed to the proposal on self-ID.  Propaganda polls just make me bristle, even when they're commissioned by people on my own side.

60 comments:

  1. Wish I'd been paying more attention at the time but I saw a recent poll where two of the questions were essentially the same but reversed. Interestingly the support was only different by a single percent for the positive and negative versions. So voters may be far more sophisticated than some credit them.

    OTOH the reported result from Panelbase may have deliberately chosen Support/Oppose options rather than the standard Yes/No in order to downplay the shift. After all there'll be those who justify their No as a vote against independence in the current context rather than opposition in general.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have never seen anything like the disintegration of the credibility of Wings Over Scotland.
    It's horrible to witness, so I'm just going to blank it completely.
    Couldn't care less any more.
    The bizarre use of 'we'when stating his views.
    The hugely inflated sense of importance.
    The ever narrowing window of permitted dissent.
    The trans obsession.
    The vitriolic hatred of everything SNP.
    The increasingly pro Brexit stance.
    Just fuck off Wings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there ought to be a Kellybase Twitter Poll on whether people should have the right to self-ID as clergymen, let alone "Your Majesty".

      Delete
    2. Completely agree. He's always been slightly dodgy for me but in recent times has clearly lost the plot.

      He's doing more damage to the cause of Independence than good.

      His obsession with transgender is just plain embarrassing. I mean, the suggestion that 50% of the electorate (i.e. - all women) are concerned about this is bad enough but to assume it's their number 1 priority is just laughable.

      Delete
    3. It's very odd when one person keeps referring to themselves as *we* the only person I've ever heard doing this is the Queen, of course when she does it she's referring to the royal *we* as in *our monarchy*
      Does Stuart Campbell think of himself as a Monarch, maybe a Monarch of the Gin but not Glen

      Delete
    4. Going Clear With StuOctober 16, 2019 at 1:20 PM

      I will have you know that The Reverend abstains from strong liquor. And he has never been known to harm an honest man.

      Delete
  3. If he's comparing this to changing your date of birth that is incredible bollocks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting.

    If someone called me, and asked if I thought people should be able to change the information on their birth certificate, I would answer a firm no.

    But if someone called and asked if I thought people should be allowed to legally change their gender, I'd answer a firm yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you would be with the majority. Not seen a particular poll but would assume that the majority of the electorate don't have an issue with transgender people changing their gender and having legal documentation representing this change.

      So not quiet sure what he is trying to 'prove' with the question.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, the proposed mechanism for legally changing one's gender appears to be "altering one's birth certificate and passport", which of course record only sex.

      The regular confusion and conflation of two words with distinctly different meanings has played a huge part in the mess this whole issue has become.

      (Different anonymous from author of post I'm replying to.)

      Delete
    3. There is nothing proposed. The method of changing you gender on a birth certificate /passport by acquiring a GRC has been going since 2004.

      The only change that the reform is about is regarding self id.

      Delete
    4. It's pretty nuts that you can change history. Totally 1984.

      I mean it's not as if a bairn has any concept of sex when they first pop oot. They're not like 'Jings, a tadger. I wis expectin a vag. FFS. Wrang boady. Jist ma feckin luck. Here, haud on, whit's that yer writin oan my birth certificate doc? That's nae richt. Am a lay-dee!'.

      To stop discrimination against trans people / people who don’t conform to sexist stereotypes, we need to get the public to accept men and women can dress / present whatever way they want and that's absolutely fine.

      Trying to create fantasy worlds where fairies wave a magic wand and 'he' becomes 'she' just sets people up for a fall and/or mockery. That and body mutilation / sterilisation.

      I've never ever seen a transwoman that didn't look like a man, even after max sex change treatment. Even a glance at the ladyboys of Bangkok and yer like, here, haud oan! They at least are proud of being men. Red blooded blokes happy in their pink sequined dresses. I bet they're not changing birth certificates.

      Why not just accept reality instead of living a lie? What happened to being true to ourselves?

      Delete
  5. Wings is a total madman now shouting all over the internet that Nicola Sturgeon's a liar and SNP voters are stupid
    The guy must be dying to get himself into court again, defo not how to win friends for his so called non existent political party or he's hoping for some nutter to belt him so he can get himself on the telly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wee nickerless is the mad one. Mad madam mafiafash.
      Wing nut is a mutter but now sound right.

      Delete
  6. James, I think we're all getting bogged down in minutia with all of this. Campbell is right about one thing - the SNP is in serious danger of being taken down by entryists whose loyalty is to whatever woke politics are fashionable this week, not to the achievement of independence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a polling blog. If he's going to produce new polling figures on an almost daily basis (as he's been doing for a couple of weeks now), you can reasonably expect this blog to analyse them at least some of the time. Nobody forced him to use leading questions, but he can have no complaints about people pointing out what he's done.

      Delete
    2. No Campbell has latched onto the one thing that he thinks will bring the SNP down and he's making a meal of it to the point of blocking posts on his site full of facts that relate to the trans issue. This isn't an SNP initiative. It's a Scotgov and going back it's a Westminster issue brought on by a UN/EU issue. It's also been kicked into the long grass so how does he know how it will all end or if it will be overtuned like the OBFA.

      Delete
  7. I self ID as 20 years younger than my birth certificate says.

    This needs addressing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This needs "addressed". (Scottish usage.)

      Delete
    2. DOST says "this needs "addressed" is Standard Scottish usage with no need for "to be". It corresponds to the standard English form "this needs addressing".

      Delete
    3. Either is acceptable in Scots / Scottish English.

      Delete
    4. But this is outwith the context of the blogpost topic.

      Delete
    5. Sorry. Didn't realise you were the moderator. Apologies. But why did you "correct" the post by Ghost Placenta?

      Delete
  8. Self I D gender sex, in the real world nobody cares because mostly nobody knows and don't want to know what the miseries of less than 2% of the population are as long as they don't shove their complaining down people's throats, and the more they do it the less people will care then it'll begin to annoy them that they don't shut up about themselves

    The guy Wings is just campaigning, he doesn't give a monkeys for these people he's just using them as a stick to beat his own drum because fewer and fewer people are reading his crap, that's why he's posting it on Twitter now hoping they'll fall for it there

    Check the guys website this is the guy who's hounded every woman politician in Scotland and ended up going to court and losing over his crap, a wee bit unfairly to be honest but he deserved it for being a complete tool and the judge even told him that
    Now it's Nicol Sturgeon's turn to be hounded, he's picked the wrong one there more people like her a whole lot more than him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, this does affect us all. For example, 'gender neutral' toilets are the new fad response to it all. Replacing ladies + gents facilities all over the place.

      My guess is that woke blokes want these so they can watch my young daughter clean up after a period accident.

      There's not another obvious explanation to me.

      Delete
    2. Why do woke women want them

      Delete
  9. To protect women - can't we just make all ladies toilets and changing rooms unisex? We could also turn the formerly male ones into children's toilets and changing rooms to protect them from pedos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Women need toilet space to gossip as men just go in for a piss and back to the bevvy.

      Delete
    2. But the news ones are just dandy for getting a snatch of snatch.

      Delete
  10. Stu has picked this topic as his chosen club to beat the SNP with. I have absolutely no idea what has caused him to become obsessed with becoming a MSP, but I am becoming more and more convinced that this is his obsession.

    As posted above, the idea that the SNP membership is "convulsed" over this issue is ridiculous, and that goes double for the wider public. I know that this supposed "convulsion" is a ridiculous notion, because Kenny Farquharson is declaring it in his article, and since Kenny Farquharson is rabidly anti-independence, it is doubly ironic that Stu Campbell is quoting Kenny Farquharson as evidence to back up his own claim that the SNP are "convulsed".

    Kenny Farquharson and Stu Campbell on the same side, both lined up against the SNP!!?!
    Holy shit!!! Who could have predicted that just a short time ago?

    Of course, Stu will claim that their motivations are completely different. Farquharson is castigating the SNP, because he hates the SNP and independence, while Stu is castigating them for their own good......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's about as likeable as Carl of Swindon, and he'll probably have as much electoral success.

      Delete
    2. Kenny Farquharson has a shrewd eye for political talent. Stu could learn from him and stop being a sore loser.

      Delete
    3. Stuart Campbell now claims the SNP are deliberately sabotaging independence, he'll be on the Tartan Tory bus next
      Nothing the guy says would bother me but he's deliberately stirring up hatred, maybe he knows his political party will fail, maybe he just hates women, maybe he's just a contrary idiot, but the tactics he's using are pure Nigel Farage

      Delete
    4. Or maybe he's been made a ''Unionist'' offer that he couldn't refuse plus a wee frightener as to what they found on his computers.

      Delete
  11. Stuart Campbell is so unpopular now he's had to shut down his facebook page because most of the people of Scotland disagree with him and he doesn't like that so he calls everybody in Scotland bad names because they just dang well refuse to listen to him bad mouthing the country's favourite politician who by the way is the only one whe can get the job done for Scotland, but she's a woman and that's a problem for Mr Campbell

    Will his sycophants give him more money to battle with Kezia Dugdale or will he end up bad mouthing the First Minister so he can get her to take him to court
    These and more ridiculous stories every day on the never ending idiocy of Wings over Scotland's Stuart Campbell

    ReplyDelete
  12. I reckon the two million real British Scots will vote to remain in the UK Union after brexit. Makes sense, why leave the EU fascist state and hand power back to the EU. The Scottish Nat sis do not believe in democracy therefore the UK Gov should deny another vote as there is no point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then I'm going into wifies lavvies for a gander of their fuds.

      Delete
    2. 30% of those that voted Leave in 2016 support independence.

      They're the hardest of hardcore independence supporters.

      Delete
  13. You know there are transmen; women who transition into men. Want to kick muscled bearded trans men out of the gents and into the ladies where they'll be kicked out for being men? They just want to take a pee. And if there's fear that transwomen are 'predatory' then kick out the lesbians too. The whole thing is blatantly stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, but are you suggesting pre-op transmen / transboys should use the gents changing facilities / showers?

      This would be uncomfortable for most, and Christmas come early for male sex pests. I mean it's not as if a rapist will give a crap what sex a teenage transboy identifies as.

      Delete
  14. Looks like we are very close to witnessing the 'Great [celtic nation] unionist betrayal'.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/15/boris-johnson-close-to-brexit-deal-after-border-concessions

    It is understood that the negotiating teams have agreed in principle that there will be a customs border down the Irish Sea. A similar arrangement was rejected by Theresa May as a deal that no British [one nation unionist] prime minister could accept.

    [English nationalist] Johnson will still have to win over parliament


    And if N. Ireland can stay in the EU (CU/SM), why can't Scotland? is it just anti-Scottish racism from London?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if the DUP / some ERG can stop such a deal by voting it down, the great betrayal happens anyway.

      It just needs to be agreed in principle by No 10 and that's it. Unionists utterly betrayed.

      If a mate tries to sell you down the river, it doesn't matter if you manage to stop it. The betrayal has still happened.

      Delete
  15. I've been using a friend's name and email address, to "sneak" some comments on to the Wings page, but either I'm not "sneaky" enough, or Stu has stepped up his standards for "compliance-with-the-Campbell-mindset", because she is being "moderated out" as well.

    Here's what I put on the latest one....
    Stephen Daisley
    Kenny Farquharson
    Alex Massie
    Alan Cochrane
    Stu Campbell
    Andrew Neil
    Tom Gallagher
    Can you spot the odd man out? ....... No, neither can I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big Eater From PerthOctober 16, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      How dare you leave me off the list, you presumptuous little twerp.
      And I'll be sending a screenshot to Andrew Wilson.

      Peter

      Delete
    2. Big, Lol. I should have added a codicil with an apology to any unionist journo I'd missed....

      Delete
  16. May I suggest that Scot-Rail has a solution?

    Perhaps Scot-Rail has the answer?

    On a recent journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow, I needed a pee. I went to a bathroom where I was locked in alone, did what I had to do, flushed the loo and left. The person waiting was a woman.

    Frankly Stu is stirring the shit. There are perfectly reasonable technological solutions available to allow all of us to have the privacy that we need.

    The guy has a bee in his bonnet about this issue and several other peripheral subjects. ( Liverpool supporters being complicit in their own deaths, men declaring their homosexuality in the midst of an orgasm and other fringe ideas.)

    Quite why he has lost the plot is for him to ponder. I doubt that there is any way back for him from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The end result of all this is that we belong to 5.4 million different genders and all toilets must be individualised. So maybe this could drive the first economic boom in iScotland. Division of ordure rather than division of labour. And it makes a change from the "broken windows promote economic growth" theory.
      As for DutchRail, they could apply themselves to finding more coaches to go on trains north of Dunblane. Just Chookter Country I now, but...

      Delete
  17. Just as Rudy Giuliani was a hero once upon a time, so it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. SNP supporters now told to F..k off by Wings Stuart Campbell
    dare to disagree and you're off or monstered by his sycophants
    People were getting fed up with his attacks on women politicians but put up with it because they were opposition politicians but since he's started this campaign against Nicola Sturgeon he's picked the wrong woman this time even people who don't like Nicola Sturgeon know she's a well loved and well respected person not only in Scotland but world wide and the last thing she is is anybody's fool so this is personal with Stuart Campbell it just seems he hates women running things, didn't he love his Mum or something, it's madness and it won't end well for him

    ReplyDelete
  19. Latest from YouGov:

    Latest Westminster voting intention (14-15 Oct)
    Con - 37%
    Lab - 22%
    Lib Dem - 18%
    Brexit Party - 11%
    Green - 5%
    Other - 6%

    ReplyDelete
  20. Labour at 22% .. Corbyn is one useless b@@@@#d!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Stuart Campbell of Wings has now publicly claimed on his Blog that Alex Salmond has informed his views. That's another lie Campbell has just told and he may well regret putting that in print, no politician let alone the former FM is going to reveal anything he thinks to some nobody blogger on the internet with a reputation for having a big foul mouth, he'd be insane to do that and Alex Salmond is not insane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex Salmond will not be one bit pleased about that. A step too far taken by Campbell. Joanna Cherry has just mentioned how close Alex and Nicola Sturgeon are. Firm friends, so is Campbell telling us that Alex Salmond told him to rip her and the SNP apart? Now he's got someone on his site saying Alex Salmond should lead Campbell's party. You couldn't make this up. Would Alex Salmond even consider for one moment destroying his reputation to get involved with the foul mouthed rat bag lolling in Bath?!!!

      Delete
  22. Trouble is.... it's not a lie. The sentence can be parsed to suit whatever meaning you want to take. If Stu's army takes it to mean that Alex Salmond has endorsed Stu's views, then Stu will, if challenged, just go "Oops! Sorry about that! I should have phrased it differently". If he's not challenged on it, and his readers get that impression, then .....

    I saw Maggie Thatcher on TV in 1979, and her words informed my opinion for four decades.......

    Stu is a wordsmith - a VERY clever wordsmith. He knows exactly what he is saying, and exactly what he can get away with saying....

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's a lie by inference and in law every bit as actionable as a forthright statement of fact arguable by any lawyer, and given Mr Campbells success at convincing judges he's Mr nice guy he'd very likely lose that too
    This whole behaviour being demonstrated by Wings and his sycophants should give people pause for thought as to why Stuart Cambell insists he is a supporter of Scottish Independence but also knows any party he may choose to initiate can't win Independence and moreover probably wouldn't make a dent in the list either, so why persistently encourage people not to vote for the party who can achieve Independence by proclaiming them liars all over the place when his very own medical record which he chose to share online with the world, under occupation it reads "subversive" This is a guy who openly tells people he's a subversive but give me money so that I may continue to "subvert"
    And the current victims of his "subversion" are the SNP

    I don't reckon it takes a lot of brain power to work out Mr Campbells motives for anything he does

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm just finished reading the BTL comment section of Wings and now they're accusing Mairi Black of taking cocaine in the house of commons
    This is a concerted effort by Wings and his hangers on to do everything they can to muck up Independence
    Wee Ginger Dug has written about this behaviour but not named Campbell and others but asking them to stop it

    Campbell won't stop, he's a nutter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daisy Walker, the so-called independence supporter, has accused Mhairi Black of talking cocaine. MB should get the Police to hunt her down. I wonder how many Wings supporters will contribute to her Court fundraiser? It's interesting to see the wheat being separated from the chaff on that site. Genuine supporters being banned as the Unionists pile in.

      Delete
  25. ‏https://twitter.com/EuropeElects/status/1184450403766865921
    @EuropeElects

    UK (Northern Ireland), ComRes:

    "Thinking about the UK leaving the EU, which of the following would be your preferred outcome?"

    Remain in the EU: 60%
    Leave with a withdrawal deal: 28%
    Leave without a withdrawal deal: 13%

    Fieldwork: 2-14 October 2019
    Subsample size: 695
    #Brexit

    ReplyDelete