Yes Campaign Survey

YES March & Rally for Scottish Independence.  Image by Ivon BartDr Iain Black (Heriot Watt University) has been working on an academic survey to capture who took part in the Yes campaign, what they did and why they took part. The results will be published widely and shared with the main Yes supporting groups to help them understand their volunteers and to understand who changed politics in Scotland.

It is quite a long and demanding survey, it has to be, to cover the large number of activities the wide range of Yes campaigners (working for Yes Scotland, WIF, RIC, National Collective etc) engaged in.

So if you participated in any part of the Yes campaign, Iain would be delighted if you could take part, though he suggests it would be better done via a tablet or computer than your phone. Hopefully you will enjoy remembering what you did and why you did it.

To take part please click on the following link HERE.

Comments (9)

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I completed the survey and it brought back memories. In the early days of the campaign it was a bit of a phoney war here in Helensburgh; we were talking about doing things rather than being active. I saw that the RIC was going to have a mass canvass in Castlemilk and with another local member went along to join in.

    I had never been to Castlemilk and hardly knew where it was but eventually found the meeting place and joined up with one of the organisers to canvass one of the main residential roads. That experience was an eye opener; I had never knocked on a door before but had a good grip of what the main battle lines of the campaign were.

    We only had just over an hour but in that time I met only one committed no voter and all the rest were unsure of what they would do. One guy came to the door and when asked said he would vote no, unless I could convince him otherwise. The challenge was set and it followed in the same vein until I was dragged away at the end of the canvass.

    During that hour I’m certain that I convinced almost a dozen to come in with the Yes message including several people that had not voted in years. Labour were at the scaremongering tactic even then but the vote in that area of Glasgow was soft and crying out for a little inspiration that told the story that things can be better than the present existence that many of them were enduring.

    Unfortunately I got back to Helensburgh to the real world where people were afraid for their jobs. We have the biggest UK mushroom factory just along the road at Faslane and MOD were indoctrinating their employees that the place would close if we voted Yes. Many people said at the door they were afraid they would lose their jobs if they voted Yes. MOD were even telling every new incomer to work in the base not to buy houses as the prices might drop on independence. This became a self fulfilling prophesy as nobody could sell. I met several angry people who were convinced that the Yes campaign had destroyed their chance of selling their house, nothing to do with MOD telling people not to buy.

    I’m sure this scenario was replicated throughout Scotland. Now we are back to being scroungers living off English munificence. The fact that Scotland has supported the rest of UK in every year where records were published, right back to 1900, is again conveniently hushed up. Is it any wonder that the No people moved heaven and earth to hang on to us.

    1. Fittie says:

      mmmm…but the getting rid of Trident was a central policy, so they would have lost their jobs and houses would have been impossible to sell after independence? surely?

    2. Iain Black says:

      Hi Dougie,

      Many thanks for taking the time with the survey and glad it brought some good (and perhaps some not so good) memories back. I was part of the campaign from the very start in North Edinburgh and Leith and what you describe was certainly happening on the ground here too. Thanks again Iain

  2. Allan Hann says:

    Wouldn’t let me past q3 because I apparently hadn’t answered the time line question? Tried a few times but couldn’t get past it. Unsure of it’s my stupidity or a glitch..
    No survey for me it appears..

    1. Iain Black says:

      Hi Allan,

      Sorry to hear that. I’ve checked the survey and if you tick one box corresponding to the date you started it should let you progress. The design means you need to tick an answer to just one row to move on, that allows people who campaigned for Yes but weren’t members of a Yes group to accurately record their answers. Hope this help.

      1. Jacqui calder says:

        Yes I’m glitching at question 2 – put in yes but then when it goes to “if yes, which group?” It pulls tick out of Yes and this seems to be registered as un answered question.

  3. Bill Dale says:

    I also completed the survey, but a few warnings are in order.

    1. In the list of questions, the first one may reflect a view positively i.e. it is a statement such as “XYZ is a good thing” followed by a list from “strongly disagree” through to “strongly agree”; the very next question may be a negative statement such as “ABC is not a good thing” followed by the same “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. Most statements are considerably longer than those I have used here, so it needs particular vigilance if you agree that both XYZ and ABC are good things, to tick first RHS (agree with XYZ) and then LHS (disagree ABC is not a good thing). This may in and of itself reduce the reliability of the survey. Certainly I am not particularly happy about this type of presentation of questions.

    2. I could see no mention of sites such as Bella, WIngs and WGD, leading me to think that perhaps the survey is being conducted by someone with little or no experience of the Referendum itself.

    3. I could see no mention of the the role of the state broadcaster’s propaganda in any of the questions. Surely this is something that must have been included – especially on sections dealing with the topics important to the public (i.e. where they got their “information” from). Ditto for the newspapers (Record, Daily Mail et al).

    4. I could see no way of filling in no religious belief in the drop down menu.

    All in all, a long survey, but B- at best.


    1. Iain Black says:

      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for taking part and for the feedback. Just to give you some background on the questions and issues you raise. The postive or negative framing of questions as you describe above is a commonly used questionnaire design tool to try and ensure respondents are engaging with the question. So, as you say vigilance is required, but that is the point- you also pick up on the downside of doing this- where people don’t notice you have done this.

      We decided that where people got their information from was outside the scope of the aims of the survey so hence no mention of Wings, Bella etc. Thats not to say we don’t understand how important these sites were/are or the significant “heat” around the role of the BBC. Its just that we couldnt ask everything and that for our purposes, we felt that what people believed was more important than where they got their information from. Source credibility and bias as you point our are really interesting issues from the referendum but they fall outside the scope of what we are trying to do. For what its worth, I hope someone with expertise in that field does examine these issues. Finally, I included an atheist and agnostic option, but perhaps by that stage they got lost in the list of churches. Again, thanks for your time on the survey and feedback. Regards Iain

  4. Gordon Anderson says:

    Ffs made it almost to the end snd it crashed. Half an hour of my life I won’t get back.

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