Poll gloom for the SNP AND Gordon over Megrahi

Poll gloom for the SNP AND Gordon over Megrahi

BBC News Scotland

ICM suggests both have been damaged

Only a few days ago I was bemoaning the fact that there did not seem to be any polls of Scottish opinion on the release of Megrahi – the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and murder of 270 people. Well this evening we have a second with strong suggestions that there might be another one this weekend.

The survey is by ICM for the BBC and is of 1,005 people in Scotland. If this has followed the normal pattern for BBC-commissioned polls then the sample would not have been past vote weighted and will probably have had a pro-Labour bias.

In the panel above are the main views of those interviewed showing 60% saying the Scottish government was wrong against 32% saying it was right.

A total of 68% thought the decision was influenced by factors other than Megrahi’s health, while only 20% believed it was made purely on compassionate grounds.

But on the national scene the poll also asked about Gordon Brown’s handling of the affair. A total of 67% of the sample thought the PM’s reputation had been damaged a little or a lot. Only 29% thought that Brown had not been damaged.

It is important to underline that the other two polls – the one for YouGov and the other by Angus Reid – had politically balanced samples. This one, I believe, didn’t.

One day the BBC will join the modern polling world – or will it?

Mike Smithson

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