The Scottish National Party (SNP) has today written to the Information Commissioner calling for action to be taken to ensure the UK Government publishes the details of its polling on the referendum – after it emerged that the true cost now stands at £300,000. The UK Government has dismissed previous calls for transparency around its polling on the referendum – and has rejected Freedom of Information requests on the issue, arguing that the polling was used to formulate government policy.
This is despite the findings of the poll being shared with key figures in the No camp and being used to inform their campaign against independence. The need for transparency on the polling has grown even greater in recent days after it emerged that the true cost of the polls now stands at £300,000 – much greater than the previously accepted figure of £140,000.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bruce Crawford said: “The UK Government has spent £300,000 of public money on what is essentially private polling for the No campaign - it is unacceptable that taxpayers are expected to bankroll the No camp in this way. With the true cost of this polling seemingly rising all the time – and with the UK Government refusing to publish the details in response to FOI requests – I have written to the Information Commissioners north and south of the border asking that they intervene to ensure that the FOI requests are properly responded to before the referendum.
“The UK Government has tried to fob off FOIs by saying that the polling was used to formulate government policy. This excuse just doesn’t wash when the results have been shared with the No campaign – and the policy of the UK Government was already avowedly anti-independence. It doesn’t matter how bad the poll’s findings are for David Cameron and the No campaign – people in Scotland paid for these polls and they have a right to see the results in full.”