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Facebook poll on Scottish independence receives 10,000 votes in a day


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 27, 2011 | 2 min read

A Facebook poll posted by Edinburgh based PR firm Orbit Communications asking if people supported independence for Scotland received 10,000 votes in less than 24 hours.

The poll allowed voters to choose either yes to full independence, yes to ‘devolution max’, no to independence, or undecided. It was posted on Friday and received a handful of votes, before going viral on Monday.

The agency has released the votes received at 1pm on Wednesday, which showed support for independence at 45% (4,546 votes), opposition at 42% (4,261), support for ‘devolution max’ (full powers over tax and spend) on 8% (788) and 5% undecided (437).

Since these figures were published, there have been over 4,000 extra votes on the poll, with figures now at 6,811; 6,620; 1,253 and 697 at time of writing.

James Tout, Director at Orbit Communications, said: “We often hear that Scottish voters are apathetic on the constitution, but we were absolutely staggered by the response to this poll from Facebook users.

“It’s questionable whether it’s truly representative of voting intention, as many respondents were clearly members of political parties or not based in Scotland. The low number of undecided voters and support for devolution max is also dubious.

“Nevertheless, social media is likely to play an important role at the real referendum in terms of getting the votes out. Clearly, the party that can galvanise its supporters through social media will have a huge advantage.

“Theoretical opinion polls only tell half the story. What matters is who actually turns out to vote.”

Facebook Scottish Government

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Orbit Communications

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