Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Another poll, this time conducted by Survation, confirms the Scottish public are strongly opposed to legally-recognised gender self-ID

Trying to commission Scot Goes Pop's comprehensive poll on GRA reform and related issues a couple of months ago was an extremely stressful and bruising process, and by the time I finally got it done I did genuinely wonder whether Panelbase were the only polling firm in the UK that would actually have been willing to conduct the poll with balanced questions that hadn't been converted into incomprehensible Stonewall-speak.  So it's heartening to see that Survation agreed to carry out a Scottish poll in November on the principle of legally-recognised gender self-identification on behalf of policy analysts Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, and that the question asked was reasonably straightforward.  It was a binary-choice question on whether a doctor's approval should be required for a legal change of gender.

The results are broadly in line with the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll from October, with only 27% of respondents indicating support for self-ID by saying a doctor's approval shouldn't be needed.  53% take the opposite view, and the remainder don't know.  As a reminder, the Scot Goes Pop poll had a four-option format, and found 20% support for self-ID, and a combined 58% support for the other options which all precluded self-ID.

So we have a clear division between the views of the voters, and the views of the parliamentarians those voters elected.  On paper at least, there is an overwhelming majority in the Scottish Parliament for self-ID, due to the SNP, Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats all being in favour.  And in a parliamentary democracy, it's the verdict of parliament that matters.  However, what I would urge of MSPs is this: if you do decide to push through self-ID, at least be clear-sighted about the fact that you'll be doing so against the wishes of the public, and that the evidence for that is now compelling. People who tell you otherwise are, to be blunt, trying to con you.  The only real polling counterweight to the Panelbase and Survation results is a Savanta ComRes poll from the start of this year which asked a deeply flawed and leading question.  It studiously downplayed self-ID as merely an administrative tidying-up exercise to make life easier for people, and although it mentioned that there were objections from certain quarters, it was weirdly vague about what those objections were.

Ipsos-Mori's in-house identity politics extremist Mark McGeoghegan wrote a breathless analysis piece after the ComRes poll presenting the results as unquestionable gospel - and yet, without a trace of irony or self-awareness, he posted a series of tweets a few months later dismissing the carefully balanced questions in the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll as completely invalid.  He was mysteriously unable or unwilling to specify what he thought was actually wrong with the wording of eight of the nine questions, including the main self-ID question.  (He did make a more specific complaint about the ninth question - but what he said didn't actually make any sense.)

The reality is that the polls that show big majorities against self-ID are the ones that use plain language and allow respondents to understand what they're being asked.  The poll that purported to show support for self-ID used vague and obfuscatory language.  That tells its own story.

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You can catch up with my Scot Goes Popcast interview with iScot editor Ken McDonald HERE (on video) or HERE (audio only).


  1. If we assume that Sturgeon will deliver a referendum eventually ( big assumption) just how many countries out of all the now independent nations gained their independence from Westminster by means of a referendum? Anyone know the numbers or percentage?

    Also out of all these countries who gained their independence from Westminster how many did so by means of a referendum which allowed Westminster total control of all broadcasting and newspaper information. Anyone know the numbers or percentages?

    As an aside Skier has given his Ski slope graph of voting yes polling and it shows if we wait until something like 2040 yes will be at 120% and surely even Skier would say it is save to have a referendum? Well maybe most people but Skier - nope too risky for him.

    In summary, the WGD site is just a mirror image of Britnat propaganda sites. Accuracy, integrity, objectivity nae chance on WGD.

    Mad liar Skier says

    In the next referendum we must highlight that the choice before us is either independence or Scotland ceasing to exist in any politically meaningful way, as nothing more than one of Alister Jack’s regions with a quaint dialect and a colourful past, just a pretty tartan bow on a Great British shortbread tin.

    Amen to that. This is the essence of ‘muscular unionism’*, and you can sense the unease it is causing for mainstream Scottish unionists, as opposed, that is, to ‘British nationalists’. While we might use these terms interchangeably, they are not actually the same thing. Being Scottish (the nation) and British (the union) is quite different from being British (the nation) and Scottish (regional identity).

    In the old days, the ‘Scottish unionists’ were the former, but since the English conservatives took them over, they’ve become ever more the latter. Labour and the Lib Dems have been going the same way, notably since brexit and their meek acceptance that what England wants, all the other nations have to suck up. At least in Scotland (nod to Welsh Labour for fighting back with Plaid Cymru). However, the Scottish electorate have not been following them, and ‘Scottish unionist’ voters are now getting ever more uncomfortable with the UK as it tries to erase their Scottishness in favour of Englishness dressed up, as always, as ‘Britishness’. Devo was the Scottish unionist baby after all; it wasn’t what the pro-indy parties really wanted, nor what the British nationalists (Tories) wanted either.

    Undermining devo is not an attack on ‘the nats’, it’s an attack on unionist voters.

  2. Well done James, for publicising this. It needs to be made crystal clear to the SNP and the SGP that they have not carried public opinion with them on this issue. When it come time to ask people to vote for independence, unionist parties are going to be merciless in reminding voters which parties had bonkers policies.

  3. James, the post on this thread at 8.43am today was not from me. The first part was a copy of a previous post from me but the second part starting Mad liar Skier says has been added on to my original post.

    There were 2 other long posts on the previous thread that were not from me but were copies of posts I had previously made.

    1. That doesn't surprise me - I recognised the comments from when you first posted them. I wasn't sure whether you were duplicating them or whether someone was impersonating you.

  4. Omicron is vertical, we're going ballistic Mav.