Ipsos MORI statement on the same-sex marriage poll in Scotland.
Last week we conducted a poll, commissioned by the Equality Network, looking at the attitudes of the adult population in Scotland to the issue of same-sex marriage. We asked respondents to tell us the extent to which they agreed or disagreed that ‘same-sex couples should have the right to get married’. The evidence from the poll shows that 64% agree that same-sex couples should have the right to marry while 26% disagree.
We understand that this is an issue of heated debate in Scotland and across the UK and are aware of the coverage that our poll received on Sunday. The wording of the poll question was designed to ask the public about rights since, for same-sex marriage to be treated equally it would need to be enshrined as a right. The Equality Network is therefore interested in finding out whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry. Alternative wording would not have done that and we therefore do not accept that the survey is distorted in any way. We are confident that respondents will have understood the question and what is meant by a right. The question itself was balanced, allowing respondents to tell us whether they ‘agreed or disagreed.’
The findings from the poll are also largely in line with much other survey evidence. For example, a poll we conducted across Britain in 2007 found that 68% agreed with the statement that ‘gay couples should be allowed to get married’ and the most recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, from 2010, found that 61% of adults in Scotland agreed that ‘gay and lesbian couples should have the right to marry one another if they want to.’
The poll was conducted between June 7th and 13th 2012 by telephone. We interviewed 1,003 adults (18+) in Scotland, achieving a sample which is representative of the Scottish population as a whole. We publish full details of the questions and the breakdown of the results on our website at http://www.ipsos-mori.com/offices/scotland.aspx.