by a Newsnet reporter
A Facebook poll organised by Edinburgh PR company Orbit Communications has shown that independence was the most popular choice of respondents. The survey showed support for independence at 45 per cent, with 42 per cent against, in a poll of more than 10,000 people.
The third option of devo-max gained eight per cent of votes while five per cent were undecided. The poll went live last Friday but had received a mere handful of votes before going viral on Monday when it attracted over 10,000 respondents within 24 hours.
Although the survey will be dismissed by serious polling organisations as ‘voodoo poll’ which is not weighted in order to give a representative sample of opinion, the large number of people who answered the poll in such a short period of time may contradict the statement which is often made that Scottish people are not interested in constitutional matters.
Although the respondents to this poll were not a representative sample, the result is broadly in line with other recent polls which show that independence is building a lead as the most popular choice for Scotland’s future amongst the electorate.
James Tout, director of Orbit Communications said: “We often hear that Scottish voters are apathetic on the constitution but we were absolutely staggered by the response to this poll from Facebook users.
“It’s questionable whether it’s truly representative of voting intention as many respondents were clearly members of political parties or not based in Scotland.”
“The low number of undecided voters and support for devolution max is also dubious.
“Nevertheless, social media is likely to play an important role at the real referendum in terms of getting the votes out. Clearly, the party that can galvanise its supporters through social media will have a huge advantage.”
Welcoming the poll, SNP Campaigns Director Angus Robertson MP, said:
“Social media will play a key role in the referendum campaign so this is a very encouraging survey.
“Although online studies need to be treated with caution, this latest one is consistent with other recent opinion poll findings which have shown a majority of people in Scotland support independence.”
“This result comes on the back of the SNP’s biggest and most successful party conference yet, at which we launched the independence referendum campaign.”
“The SNP is working hard to build a better and fairer country and support is steadily growing for Scotland to become an independent nation that is in full control of its own affairs.”