By Damian Thompson Politics Last updated: January 30th, 2013
Unbelievable that the Electoral Commission has agreed to the question "Should Scotland be an independent country?" for the referendum on Scottish independence. This is a classic loaded question, heavily weighting the exercise in favour of a "yes" vote. If the wording had been "Should Scotland be an independent country or remain part of the United Kingdom?" that would have fairly represented the alternative (though as commenters have pointed out below, it means the answer can't be a simple Yes or No). The Electoral Commission is pretending that it has chosen a "neutral" option by rejecting Alex Salmond's suggestion that the question should begin "Do you agree that Scotland…" Oh, please. That makes no difference. Salmond must be delighted with this "neutrality".
This isn't just bad politics; it's polling methodology so bad that it verges on the dishonest. If the British Government allows this question to go forward, it deserves to lose.