2009 Members of the Scottish Parliament Survey findings
A year ago, Members were overwhelmingly pessimistic about the near-term prospects for the Scottish economy. Views now are more mixed – one in six Government Members believe prospects will improve compared to half of Opposition Members.
However, the financial crisis continues to dominate Members’ views of the most important problems facing the Scottish business and industry communities. More specifically, the affordability of credit is now the overwhelming challenge in the eyes of Members. General economic conditions, lack of demand and the rise of unemployment are also significant concerns.
In the run up to a General Election, housing, the Health Service and education continue to dominate correspondence from constituents. However, perhaps fuelling their concern, Members are now significantly more likely to say they are receiving letters about unemployment. Also significant is the rise in the number of Members receiving letters from constituents about climate change or global warming. A third of Members now say they receive letters about the subject compared to virtually no-one three years ago.
Members’ views of the banking sector have continued to deteriorate over the last year. This has also had a detrimental effect on the views of Financial Services. Of all the sectors covered this year, only these two attract more unfavourable than favourable assessments from Members.
The Herald continues to be the daily newspaper most widely read, but newspaper readership generally among Members is at its lowest level since opening of the Parliament. The Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday continue to dominate the Sunday market, but readership of both has fallen for the last couple of years.
Echoing these trends, readership of weekly and monthly publications has fallen in the last year. Holyrood Magazine continues to be read by two-thirds of Members, but relatively few other monthly publications are now read regularly.
However, the survey highlights the rise in importance to Members of online media. The vast majority now access BBC News online and The Herald and Scotsman websites also continue to be popular.
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For more information on the MSPs Survey, please click here.
- All MSPs were contacted to ensure that those interviewed closely represent the profile of the Scottish Parliament.
- Number of respondents: 73 (SNP 25, Labour 28, Conservative 11, Lib Dem 7 and Others 2).
- Interviews were conducted face-to-face between 3rd September and 6th November 2009.
- The total sample interviewed is closely representative of the Parliament. Data have been individually weighted where necessary to reflect the true balance by party.
- Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.