For the second time in a few short weeks, CommonSpace's very favourite Labour propaganda site "The Red Robin" has come bob-bob-bobbin' along with some dubious coverage of Scottish polling. In fairness, this time they've jointly commissioned the poll themselves, and they've used a proper BPC pollster so that we can see the datasets. They may wish they hadn't done that, though, because the datasets reveal that either Survation or the Labour propagandists themselves made a schoolboy howler when framing one of the questions, which asked for views on the coalition SNP-Green government led by Nicola Sturgeon. Somebody had better let Patrick Harvie know that he's been Deputy First Minister all this time, because I'm fairly sure he's still in the dark about it.
The website claims that the poll shows voters want the Scottish government to prioritise public services over independence. At best, that's a rather misleading claim, because respondents were never actually presented with that straight choice. Instead, they were asked separately whether the Scottish government should be prioritising the improvement of public services, and unsurprisingly gave a resounding yes to what is essentially an "Are motherhood and apple pie good things?" question. When asked if they thought independence should be a priority, they were split roughly down the middle - 36% said yes, and 41% said no, which is more or less a statistical tie once the margin of error is taken into account. Again, it was always utterly predictable that the result on that question would closely reflect what we already know about public opinion on independence itself - ie. that approximately half are in favour and approximately half are opposed. What the Labour propagandists think they've proved with the new figures is anyone's guess.
Even more mysterious is what they think they were proving by asking whether respondents would prefer a Labour government or a Conservative government at Westminster. For what very little it's worth, 60% said they preferred Labour and 40% said the Tories. That's right up there with the poll that found that 97% agree with the statement that "the Pope is a Catholic" - except of course that 60% is a much lower number than 97%, and is humiliatingly low for a party that once utterly dominated the politics of Scotland. How far must they have fallen to have reached the stage where 4 in 10 of the population prefer the hated Tories to them?
If the Labour propagandists had got the emphatic result they evidently expected on that question, we'd have been entitled to ask why they didn't ask more salient questions, such as "Do you agree that your preference for Labour over the Tories means you should never vote SNP in a Westminster election?" But it seems Labour's problems run much deeper than the fact that voters are not returning to the fold from the SNP (or not in sufficient numbers, anyway).
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Your cut-out-and-keep guide to what is and is not news (source: the mainstream media) -
The fact that the UK government want to use Brexit as an excuse for removing powers from the Scottish Parliament: Not News
The fact that the Scottish Tories failed to make good on their promise to use their "influence" to ensure that the EU Withdrawal Bill was amended at the Commons stage to prevent the power-grab: Not News
The fact that the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly, and on a cross-party basis, to pass an emergency Continuity Bill to protect devolution from the power-grab: Not News
The fact that the Tories, having been soundly defeated on the floor of the Scottish Parliament, are going to the Supreme Court in London in an attempt to have the Continuity Bill struck down: Not News
The fact that the Welsh Government caved in and accepted the power-grab, thus allegedly leaving Nicola Sturgeon "isolated" and "under pressure": HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
The fact that Labour and the Liberal Democrats belatedly backed Nicola Sturgeon's decision to continue resisting the power-grab, thus demonstrating she is neither "isolated" nor "under pressure": Not News