British Social Attitudes survey shows decline in support for an English parliament
If a reputable English blog announced that support for an English parliament had shot up from 29% to 57% in the British Social Attitudes survey, you would expect the rest of the nationalist blogosphere to sit up and take notice. However, when the blog of Steve Uncles reported that very thing back in December, it went completely unremarked upon, not worthy of even the slightest mention from any other blogger.
As much as I would like the figure of 57% to be correct, I believe that it is nothing more than wild propaganda, a figure plucked from the air by the English Democrats' very own Lord Haw Haw.
The BSA data for 2010 actually shows that support for an English parliament has declined from 29% to 23%.
As I have previously stated I don't think the BSA survey is a particularly fair measure of public support:
...the British Social Attitudes survey is flawed because it asks the public to choose between a *new* parliament for England or the UK parliament, which historically is the English parliament, and finds that only 29% would like a *new* English parliament.
It does not attempt to measure support for an English parliament at Westminster or a "parliament within a parliament" - an English Grand Committee or "English Votes on English Laws", the latter being the model that commercial polls find most support for.
Asking people to choose between Westminster (England’s traditional parliament) or a new English parliament presupposes that an English parliament must be new and/or distinct (ie not dual purpose).
It would be more useful to paraphrase the referendum that prompted the Scots to vote for a Scottish parliament in 1997:
1. I agree that there should be a English Parliament; or
2. I do not agree that there should be a English Parliament
Even so, the BSA data does provide us with a measure of support and we must accept that by that measure the upward trend has reversed, marginally. Worries over the economy may account for the reversal of fortune, but I think the more likely explanation is that we experienced a spike in support for an English parliament whilst we had a Scottish Prime Minister. Prior to Gordon Brown becoming PM there were polls that indicated that his Scottishness was a problem for English voters. After Brown became PM no one bothered conducting a follow-up poll on public attitudes to a Scottish PM because, as the full extent of his personality disorder became apparent, Scottishness was the very least of his problems.
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Yesterday, the day before Robin Tilbrook appears on the Daily Politics to discuss an English parliament, Prof John Curtice released British Social Attitudes polling which shows support for an English parliament at just 26%. English Democrat supporters mi