A Facebook poll on voting intentions in the Scottish independence referendum was bombarded with 10,000 votes in less than 24 hours.
The poll, asked by Edinburgh-based PR and public affairs firm Orbit Communications, allowed voters to choose either yes to full independence, yes to ‘devolution max’, no to independence, or undecided.
The poll showed support for independence at 45%, opposition at 42%, support for ‘devolution max’ (full powers over tax and spend) on 8% and those undecided on 5%.
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.”
Notes to editors
1. The poll was posted on the Orbit Communications Facebook page on Friday, October 21st. Following just a handful of early votes over the weekend and on Monday, the poll went viral on Tuesday [October 25th], attracting thousands of votes from Facebook users. An incredible 10,000 votes were received by lunchtime on Wednesday [October 26th].
2. At exactly 13:00 on Wednesday October 26th 2011, 10,032 votes has been received to the question ‘How would you vote in a referendum on Scottish independence?’
The breakdown of responses was:
- Yes to full independence – 4,546 (45.3%)
- Yes to ‘devolution max’ (full powers over tax and spend) – 788 (7.9%)
- No to independence – 4,261 (42.4%)
- Undecided – 437 (4.5%)
3. The facebook poll follows reports on Wednesday October 26th that the SNP’s use of social media has been recognised by the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.