Poor old “Better Together”. We already knew they had some difficulty with basic counting, but today it seems their reading isn’t up to much either. Desperate to deflect attention from the hideous hole they’ve dug themselves into over Europe, they’ve seized on the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showing (depending how you spin it) almost three-quarters of Scots in favour of devolution rather than independence.
There’s only one problem: the cited source for those figures doesn’t say that at all.
The “72%” in the graphic is arrived at by adding three other numbers together: 50% from a vaguely-worded option about a Scottish Parliament with “some taxation powers” and 11% from one about a Scottish Parliament with “no taxation powers” – in other words, LESS devolution than we have now. But many of our sharper readers will have noticed that 50 plus 11 is in fact 61, not 72. So where did the other 11% come from?
It came, as you see above, from the next option down – “Scotland should remain part of the UK without an elected parliament” (our emphasis that time). That is to say, NO devolution at all, with Holyrood closed down entirely. What the poll actually shows is that only 50% want what will be represented by the “No” option in the referendum. The other 22% of BT “supporters” in fact want powers taken AWAY from the Scottish Parliament, with half of them wanting devolution entirely reversed.
Only in the very special world of “Better Together” can a vote for “Less or no devolution” translate as support for “Devolution within the UK”. Still, well done them for trying.
(Tip of the abacus: keen-eyed reader “Tyran”.)