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Scotsman newspaper slammed over ‘propaganda poll’ front page – Towards Indyref2…

Scotsman newspaper slammed over ‘propaganda poll’ front page

A struggling Scottish newspaper has been heavily criticised after it promoted an independence poll despite suspicions the question wording was designed to confuse participants.

The Scotsman newspaper front page featured a headline which read ‘60% of Scots would vote ‘remain’ in new indyref‘.

According to the newspaper article, “Scots would vote against independence by a wide margin if they were asked whether to leave or remain in the United Kingdom, a landmark poll has found.”  The poll was carried out by leading pollsters Survation on behalf of Unionist campaign group Scotland in Union.

The poll featured on BBC Scotland’s flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland, with presenter Hayley Millar telling listeners that an “exclusive poll” found “sixty per cent of Scottish voters aged sixteen and over would choose to stay in the UK, just forty per cent would choose to leave.”


The poll was seized on by leading Unionist politicians.  Tory MSP Annie Wells tweeted “60% of Scots would vote against independence in new indyref poll.”

However the poll was ridiculed after it emerged it used wording normally associated with the EU referendum and Brexit issues.  Participants were asked whether they would opt to ‘remain’ in the UK or ‘leave’ the UK.  The options normally associated with independence polls are ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Pro-independence polling expert James Kelly wrote: “We know that in standard Survation online polling, the Yes vote stands in the mid-to-high 40s, but by instead asking the non-standard question “Should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?”, SiU were able to produce the false impression that Yes support has slumped to 40%.

“In a disgraceful betrayal of basic journalistic ethics, The Scotsman has played along with this propaganda stunt, and has cynically left its readers with the sense that the poll figures represent a real change in public opinion.”

One social media user claimed to have participated in the survey and said the wording made him initially think it was an EU poll.  He tweeted:  “I think I did that poll. I nearly wrongly answered remain as I thought it was about Europe.”

The Scotsman’s rabidly pro-Union stance meant there was little sympathy amongst pro-independence social media users last week when it went into administration.  The newspaper was subsequently saved.  However this latest front page is unlikely to lead to an increase in readership amongst the independence movement.

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11 thoughts on “Scotsman newspaper slammed over ‘propaganda poll’ front page

  1. John

    There is no dirty trick that is beyond Unionists and with a Unionist media they have it all their own way , but the other side of the coin is that they could be in for a great big shock when a referendum actually comes ! .

    1. Stuart McPherson

      And that means their online pages as well – you may not have to pay for them but if you visit you generate clicks which helps them get advertising money.

    2. Bob

      It’s ok boycotting the pro-unionist media, but there are clear wsrnings about the types of attacks which can be expected when Indref2 comes along.

  2. Robert Graham

    Aye thats Desperation for you – We know it , and they know we know it .

    These Labour politicians that are involved with this dubious far right organisation really have to question who exactly do they support because it looks like they are as usual being used by the Tory party , given the quality in their ranks its no wonder they are confused .

    As for Wells , this one seems to believe because she worked in Marky & Sparky she is one of them ,like these Labour clowns she is being used ” look a broad church” we are just ordinary folk ,Aye right scratch the surface and the blue rinse ladies of Morning-side will soon put them right ,


    If they cannot prove the poll or publish where it was taken they should be fined for publishing lies. Who regulates the new industry anyway. Maybe this is the issue with the printed lie.

  4. William Shepherd

    Looks like they are just trying to delay indyref2 with fake poll results, who actually believes polls now ? They are all rigged anyway, the only way Scotland will get independence is by unilaterally dissolving this farce of a union !!

    1. Tommy Aikenhead

      Survation are a professional polling organisation (the SNP have used them in the past) and their methodology is in the public domain for criticism and scrutiny.

      If there is another Indy ref, it will be Leave/Remain, and almost certainly a 60% threshold….as for any type of UDI? The Indy movement lacks the leadership or frankly the bottle to follow such a course of action, that moment has passed….once on a generation!

      1. Penguin

        1) It doesn’t matter who is doing the polling when the questions are bollocks.

        2) The question will not be leave and remain.

        3) There will be no vote or turnout threshold

        4) There was no once in a generation promise.

        5) Alastair cameron and the SIU drones are a gang of neo-Nazi peadophiles. WHen will they be rounded up and prosecuted/ shot in the street like rabid dogs?

  5. bringiton

    When Scots become aware that the Tories CAN and will effectively shut-down our Holyrood parliament,following Brexit,even staunch Labour unionists will come over to the “dark” side.
    Most are probably still thinking that Brexit won’t be all that bad.

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