Tag archives for United Kingdom - Page 3


Scottish Independence – 5 Steps to Avoid Bias

Bias is everywhere. Spotting it is a key skill for voters in Scotland (and people everywhere all the time). We all have biases, even me. This is a normal part of being human. We like being part of a group and generally moderate our behaviour to conform to group norms. There is loads of material on experiments about this, notably Milgram on obedience and also the Stanford prison experiment. The Scottish Independence campaign is possibly the largest social experiment I've seen on this. Both sides and their supporters have been egregious in their attempts to scare the electorate into voting for them. The campaign has also shown that people can be engaged in politics. Low turnouts aren't because people don't care. It is because they don't feel they have a genuine choice. This engagement has a down side though. And…
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Scottish Independence – It’s Very Close Indeed

I've updated the graphs with the latest polls and re-drawn them, I've also ignored the polls from before March 2014, so this is just the last six months of polling (about 50 separate polls). My original data source isĀ ,_2014 The graph clearly shows that as the poll gets closer more people are making their minds up, and that the gap between the views is narrowing. Yesterday saw a major effort by the No campaign to influence the Don't Knows which won't yet have made its way into the opinion data as the latest one was only published yesterday. If you haven't made up your mind yet then you might be the person that decides the outcome. Here are some useful links that might be of assistance in gathering the facts (NB apply buckets of salt to anything said by politicians,…
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Scottish Independence – Another View of the Polling Data

Since I posted the graph on the opinion poll data on the Independence Referendum in Scotland I've had some questions on both twitter and facebook (mainly from two of my three brothers still living in Scotland, one a clear Yes voter and the other undecided). I was asked whether leaving out the undecideds was skewing the result that I was showing. My initial response to this was that it wasn't, the analysis was looking at how the proportion of those deciding to vote was changing in favour of Yes. However I thought that I would go back and do the three way look at things and see if that gave a different picture. Clearly the visual is very different, partly my choice in how to present it. However the story it tells is not different from the one I produced…
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