By Dave Taylor

Last month Ipsos-MORI ran a poll on “who can you trust to tell the truth”.  The results were presented separately (though House of Commons clerks might object to the term) for England and Scotland.  Inevitably the number of Scots involved was small, but some of the differences are interesting.

For many groups, the results were similar – as they are in similar polls conducted in other countries.  For example, politicians are not much trusted to tell the truth anywhere.  In England only 21% trusted them, and in Scotland not many more – only 23%.

Where there was a significant difference, only pollsters and journalists were less trusted in Scotland than in England.

While 22% in England trusted journalists to tell the truth, only 16% of Scots were prepared to do so.

51% trusted poll results in England compared with only 40% in Scotland.  Not the best number for someone who reports on polling to read!  It may, however, have a reasonable basis in that people often react to polls in terms of their own experience.  Since most polls are GB rather than Scottish based, they will necessarily reflect a different pattern of beliefs than many of us will experience.

One can speculate as to the reasons for greater trust in other professional groups existing in Scotland than in England.  The different legal systems may play a part, as might the higher level of privatisation of public services in England.

Whatever the reason –

  • 36% of Scots trust estate agents compared with 23% in England
  • 74% of Scots trust ministers/priests compared with 66% in England
  • 93% of Scots trust doctors compared with 89% in England
  • 90% of Scots trust teachers compared with 86% in England

The most heart-warming statistic is that on both sides of the border, most people thought that the “ordinary man/woman in the street” could generally be relied on to tell the truth.  66% of those in England thought so, but even more, 74% of Scots did.

Perhaps there is a message there for both the Yes and No campaigns.


# reiver 2013-03-04 22:47
It is gratifying to see such a low trust for journalists when you look at the recent lead stories that the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday have been running. I've never actually read the stories but the headlines suggest that it'll be pretty much the end of civilisation as we know it if that scheming Alex Salmond gets his way.
# maisiedotts 2013-03-05 13:33
I have to admit I don't trust polls. They are only ever a snapshot of belief of a select few ........ and who selects them or the questions asked?

Journalists nope not them either, nor the wider MSM who all seem to have their owners agenda to offer.

What I am left with is doing my own research and making up my mind based on facts.
# Trafalgar 2013-03-07 20:07
Did none of you read the Daily Record today!!! Did you not read the leaked dossier compiled by John Swinney. The Record concluded, "reading it line by line, page by page, it is hard not to shudder at the analysis it makes, of the financial risks Scotland faces if it votes yes next year". This is not a made up story by your "Unionists", this is a dossier written in secret by Swinney and co, then leaked to the press etc. I bet Newsnet wont have the courage to put up this post. The record writes st the top of the page, "SECRET REPORT WRECKS SNP CASE FOR INDEPENDENCE".
# balbeggie 2013-03-07 22:56
Have a lie down and read the Sun instead.
# theycantbeserious 2013-03-08 23:12

If the daily record told you that you would have to walk around with a tinfoil hat on to stop the yes camp penetrating your mind...would you believe them and do it?

too wee, too poor, too stupid thats the record for you!

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