Thursday, March 19, 2015

Will we get a Scotland-only instant reaction poll after the leaders' debate?

So it now looks like there will be just one proper leaders' debate, and (miracles will never cease) it'll be a fair one including the leaders of all six parties that hold major party status somewhere on the island of Great Britain, plus Natalie Bennett of the Greens. But of course a crucial part of leaders' debates are the instant reaction polls that "tell you who won" - the Cleggasm wouldn't have been the Cleggasm without polls. If we only get GB-wide reaction polls, that won't really tell us anything useful about Nicola Sturgeon's performance - you could easily imagine her being judged the debate's best performer in a Scottish poll, but only being ranked fourth or fifth in a GB-wide poll. If there are no suggestions that the media will commission a Scotland-only poll, I hope the SNP will seriously consider commissioning one themselves, because we wouldn't want a false narrative to take root after the debate.

In many ways, the debate will be an even bigger opportunity for Plaid Cymru than for the SNP. They were severely disadvantaged in two constituencies (Ceredigion and Ynys Môn) by the rigged 2010 debates, and hopefully a good performance from Leanne Wood will transform their prospects and help them win both seats back.

I can understand why the Liberal Democrats were so keen to accept the new proposals, because they probably feel they have been "promoted" - the second seven-way debate has effectively been replaced by three individual Q&A slots for Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. But in compensation, there will be a four-way "challengers' debate" featuring Sturgeon, Wood, Bennett and Farage, and it wouldn't surprise me if that programme gets decent ratings - it will, after all, be a genuine debate and not a monologue.

Talking of debates, I watched this YouTube video yesterday for the first time since referendum day, exactly six months ago. I probably watched it at least ten times in the run-up to September 18th, but after the No vote I thought I'd never be able to bring myself to watch it again. And yet I got through to the end without feeling even a trace of pain - in fact I found it just as inspiring as I ever did. I think that must be a sign that the healing process has finally been completed. Or to put it another way : we're winning.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree. Stuart was looking for suggestions for the use of the money over and above his needs. I think he might consider this worthwhile.

  2. Good call.
    If it's anything like the last time, the TV debates will have a big influence, so good to think ahead.

    Don't know the format of the BBC debate, but I would hope it's not a stitch-up, with Tories and Labour allowed to completely dominate.

  3. Survation poll out...

  4. It's also important to capture the pre-debate opinion, so any shift during the course of the debate is accurately tracked.

  5. Maybe it's worthwhile mentioning this to Wings....they've got the budget!!!!

  6. sorry, watched your Youtube link and the tears started. I'm not over it yet.

    1. Same. Just that aching feeling that we came so close.

  7. Have you you reached out the Rev. He is wondering what he can productively do with the all dough he got on his fundraiser and I think that is awesome idea!