Sunday, March 7, 2021

#Matchettgate: The story of how unionist newspaper Scotland on Sunday attempted to deceive the nation with a fake poll

So now that the fog has cleared a bit, let's recap on what we know about the stunt that Scotland on Sunday and its self-styled "award-winning reporter" Conor Matchett attempted to pull last night. The datasets from Savanta ComRes polls on independence typically present various different versions of the Yes/No figures, and one of those versions does not use turnout weighting - in other words, unlike the headline numbers that are normally used for publication, it does not give greater weight to the people who are most likely to actually cast a vote. Sometimes the unweighted numbers are extremely similar to the published numbers, but on other occasions there's a significant disparity. In two polls so far this year, the published ComRes numbers have been dramatically better for Yes than the unweighted numbers... 

January ComRes poll before turnout weighting: 

Yes 47% 
No 43% 
Undecided 10% 

January ComRes poll after turnout weighting, published numbers: 

Yes 51% 
No 38% 
Undecided 10% 

February ComRes poll before turnout weighting: 

Yes 43% 
No 46% 
Undecided 11% 

February ComRes poll after turnout weighting, published numbers: 

Yes 47% 
No 42% 
Undecided 10% 

So as you can see, there's no automatic significance to the unweighted numbers showing a small No lead - it has already happened this year, and is perfectly consistent with the possibility of a Yes lead on the headline numbers. And yet, last night, Scotland on Sunday published the unweighted numbers from a new ComRes poll and presented them as if they were headline numbers. They tried to make out that the No lead was a significant departure from previous polling and had been caused by the Sturgeon-Salmond controversy, when in fact the numbers were literally identical to the February poll that had Yes ahead by 53% to 47% once undecideds were excluded. That doesn't necessarily mean, incidentally, that Yes must be ahead on the weighted numbers, but it does mean that we simply don't know - there could be a Yes lead, a No lead, or a dead heat. 

So what the hell are Scotland on Sunday playing at? The short answer is "I've no idea", but here are a few logical possibilities... 

* The poll contained both weighted and unweighted numbers, as per usual, but Scotland on Sunday disliked the weighted numbers and ran the unweighted ones instead. That would be, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly outrageous. 

* The poll was half-finished and the weighted numbers weren't available yet, so to meet a publication deadline Scotland on Sunday decided to just run the unweighted numbers. That would be downright amateurish. 

* The poll was never intended to be a Yes/No independence poll, and therefore ComRes didn't collect enough information to produce turnout weighted numbers. But when the raw data suggested a No lead, Scotland on Sunday couldn't resist retrospectively turning it into a Yes/No poll to produce damaging headlines for the SNP, even though they'd been warned the numbers were unreliable. That would be pretty cynical. 

Wherever the truth lies, it's hard to think of any explanation that doesn't involve a heavy dose of shoddy journalism.

30 comments:

  1. Let the yoons lie if they so wish, it could help to ensure there's complacency on the Indy side. The sad truth is that we have to expect extreme misinformation and lies from the yoons...it's what they do, especially when they're losing.

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    1. Unknown - think you missed out a NO complacency there. Past your bed time is it.🛌🛌🛌🛌🛌

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  2. You could say that the Scotland on Sunday article, and their award winning journo, are tainted by apparent bias.

    Shocking really.

    However, there really is cause for concern given the slew of other surveys published recently (including Panelbase/Sunday Times today) across all polling firms that have registered a decline in Yes.

    Same goes for the SNP - they need to put Independence front and foremost and dispense with GRA/Hate Crime policies if they are to re-ignite the movement

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    1. TBH, if the biggest criticisms of the SNP centre on efforts to make the lives of people with medical sex dysphoria easier whilst trying to reduce incidences of the type of racist / bigoted hatred used by the UK parties (windrush, anti-immigration mugs, Scots = vermin etc) and British companies (e.g. Pontins), then they must be doing ok.

      I hold an Irish passport. I don't holiday at pontins, but it does seem that not much has changed in the UK in the last 50 years and dogs have more rights than blacks or Irish. Black 'picaninnies with watermelon smiles' get forcibly deported en masse whilst Irish are not allowed to holiday alongside English. Scots are of course 'vermin' ((c) UK PM).

      Seems to me that further hate crime legislation of some form is probably needed to deal with the brexit british.

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  3. Britnats lying. Liars everywhere. I used to think it was just the Britnats who did this. I know differently now.

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  4. So do we your the biggest liar on here Unionist troll. "Independence for Scotland" what a joke.

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    1. Oldpete - did you ask Mr Kavanagh? I doubt you did because you are pathetic just like your posts on WGD. All you have got, like so many on here, and on WGD is you are a Unionist. Now I don't care for people calling me a Unionist.

      Not one of you old folks from WGD have ever actually actually shown any details of my posts as being lies so GIRUY pete old or not so old. You are the joke.

      Mr Kavanagh knows fine well what Sturgeon is. It's only idiots like you who think otherwise.

      You lot think you own independence you don't. You are supporting devolutionists.

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    2. THE BRAIN OF BRITAIN NOT

      Old Pete says March 7 on WGD

      Latest polls suggest support for independence has fell below 50%. I wonder what has caused this support to fall?

      It's lies oldpete just like the lies about SNP membership numbers. Just like the lies Sturgeon and her cronies told at the Inquiry meetings. It's just that some of you ain't bright enough to see that. After all these years you still cannae work out who is telling you lies. But hey you are great at calling people unionists. Everyone has a skill.

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    3. If you're not a unionist, stop doing their work for them.

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    4. It's erse. Arse is what they say in England.

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  5. They are a Unionist and their mask has gone.

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    1. Oldfartpete - the only mask that has gone is Sturgeons mask. Away hobble back to your oldfolks home where I see that other troll MBP is now setting up home.

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    2. Just curious James, is this your site or not? Seems this toxic tosser (IfS) thinks it's his given the way he throws his weight around.

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    3. Hello Rev.. still a wanker I see.

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  6. Does anybody still read that poisonous rag?

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  7. The thought of a better Independent Scotland is now being dragged into the gutter by SNP members who have now just got a party first mentality which means accept and cover up any wrong doing if it is the SNP but not if it is British parties. That makes you just another political party on the make rather than the leader of an independence movement with higher standards than the Britnats.



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  8. Drew Anderson you are another WGD moron.

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    1. Moron or not, I don't spend my life lurking on somebody else's blog waiting to throw insults around every day.

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  9. Hello Rev... still a wanker I see

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  10. Looks like someone got back late fae George Square after a few too many last night.

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  11. Reading this morning's headlines and it seems you can't top the great British royal list if you are BAME.

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    1. I used to be ambivalent about the Royals but I have to say I find it hard to think of anything positive about them these days. They really arent desperately nice.

      The Union Joke parade last night was something else. A desperation to add a Darwin Award to the league trophy? Obviously most fans celebrated sanely, I think it was just the bluntest knives in the drawer on show last night.

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  12. BBC been struggling to find pics of last nights illegal pro-UK mass super-spreader event in Glasgow that don't contain union jacks left right and centre.

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  13. This is EXACTLY the kind of story that (once upon a time) Wings would have jumped all over. Unionist journalism exposed for what it is. Now?......... I checked Wings to see what the Bath sage has been saying......... tumbleweed. It's not a story about the evils within the SNP, so Wings ain't interested.

    With all due respect to James, whose role in explaining polls to us has been vital, this USED to be the forte of Mr Campbell....

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    1. Once he felt that traditional Tory enemy that is Labour were dealt with, he turned his attacks to the left of centre-SNP.

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  14. Seems last night's illegal pro-union street party turned violent with police being assaulted.

    Have the UK government condemned the behaviour of their supporters yet?

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    1. The aftermath of the union flag party.

      https://www.thenational.scot/sport/19143954.george-square-memorial-benches-trashed-rangers-title-celebrations/

      George Square memorial benches trashed after Rangers title celebrations

      MEMORIAL benches which feature the names of Glasgow residents who have died were damaged during Rangers fans Scottish Premiership title celebrations in George Square last might.

      Pictures show damage to several memorial benches, placed by families to remember loved ones lost. Some were tipped over with others showing split wood.

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  15. Disgusting behaviour by 'The Rangers' fans, spoiled their first Championship success. Still can you say it was not unexpected ? Main problem was from 'The Rangers' themselves, they should have told their fan's to disperse, but nothing ?

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