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Political Commentary - Will May 3rd Be A Dreich Day For Labour In Scotland?
17 April 2007
According to political folklore, the results of general elections are dependent on the weather. If polling day is cold, wet and grey — a dreich day as us Scots would say — it was long assumed that the Conservatives would benefit. Their supporters, the argument went, were more likely than Labour's supporters to brave the weather. A forecast of warmth and sunshine, in contrast, was seen as a positive omen for Labour's fortunes.
General Election 2001 : Constituency Polls — How Not To Do It
17 May 2001
Today's Daily Record carries polling results from six marginal seats in Scotland, and compares the results with those that it published in the same six marginal seats last week; both polls were conducted by Scottish Opinion. All very well, except that the first poll interviewed only 744 respondents in total (an average of 124 per constituency), and today's interviewed 911 (average about 152).
Referendum or Opinion Poll?
2 June 2000
Brian Souter's privately funded "referendum" in Scotland on the repeal of Section 28/2A of the Local Government Act reached its conclusion this week in an inevitable flurry of recrimination about its significance, if any. The Scottish Executive, in dismissing it, described it as a "flawed opinion poll". This is entirely a misuse of the term.
What is "Britishness"?
31 March 2000
What is "Britishness"? Is there some common national identity that all of us, or most of us, in these islands share? And are there common characteristics which we tend to assume other Britons are likely to have? The question poses itself in the week in which Tony Blair and William Hague, in their own ways, tried to make political capital by appealing to British voters' instincts of national identity.
Reporting the Polls - a Lot of Hot Ayr
10 March 2000
"POLL SHOCK: VOTERS TO GIVE DEWAR A BLOODY NOSE. LABOUR FACE AYR CRASH - EXCLUSIVE BY RON MACKENNA" screams the front page of yesterday's Daily Record, Scotland's highest circulation daily newspaper. It certainly shocked me - but it was the accuracy of the reporting, not the data in the poll (a constituency poll by Scottish Opinion Limited ahead of next week's Ayr by-election) that was disturbing.