Does the boss of ICM have a point?
Alex Salmond announced on Wednesday that his â€œstraightforwardâ€ question for the Scottish referendum was: â€œDo you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?
This has now been scrutinized by academic and polling experts who are saying that it is leading and suggest that it is designed to get a particular outcome.
According to the Telegraph the boss of ICM, Martin Boon, said the question was simple but added that his company would â€œrefuseâ€ to ask it as it stands.
â€œThis is cheeky really â€“ it suggests that â€˜we all agree, don’t you?â€™ In short, if this were asked in the context of an opinion poll, I would expect to receive some condemnation for it being deemed as imbalanced, loaded and unfairâ€
It’s suggested Salmond’s wording had obviously been the subject of extensive SNP polling to register the most favourable possible result.
Also quoted is Prof John Curtice, who said: â€œIt would have been fairer to ask â€˜should Scotland become independentâ€™ rather than â€˜do you agreeâ€™. In everyday conversation people are inclined to say they agree than don’t agree.â€
This one will run.
Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH