Today’s Times has a snap poll of 500 people conducted on Wednesday by Populus (meaning the sample was too small to include voting intention questions). 27% of people agreed with the decision to send al-Megrahi back to Libya on compassionate grounds, with 61% disagreeing. We can’t precisely compare this to Scottish YouGov poll yesterday, since the methodology and wording of the questions will be different, but it does mean the early suggestions are that the Scottish public are more sympathetic to al-Megrahi’s release than Great Britain as a whole.

Populus asked whether a series of people or governments had handled the affair well – the US government, the SNP administration, Kenny MacAskill, Brown, Cameron, Ghaddifi and so on. The full figures are not in their report, but from the information there it appears that the public thought everyone handled it badly, though Brown and Ghaddifi came off worst, with Cameron and the US government coming off best.

17 Responses to “Snap Populus poll on al-Megrahi”

  1. why didn`t the SNP administration come off bad – it is obvious they did this release to look like the are a Government equal to Westminster (which they are not). It was obvious politiking and they should be punished for that.

  2. Total rubbish Mike.

    The Scottish Government did not seek to have to make this difficult choice but they did and took a decision based on principle.

    They are the only ones who should emerge (and will as all the facts come out) with any credit from this affair.

    They could have released him on a prisoner transfer which thanks to Blair @ co had been caught up in oil and power politics. Not a good option.

    They could have refused compassion for a dying man. The easy option but in the long term hugely damaging for everyone or

    finally they could exercise their right of compassionate release which had been part of Scots law for 20 years.

    Difficult of course but also right.

  3. Mike,

    Why would the Scottish Government want to diminish its reputation by appearing to be ‘equal to Westminster’.

    Westminster might have more powers but in every other way the Scottish Government and Parliament is clearly superior to that mess in London.

  4. It seems Brown is seen as weak & cowardly again,this coward tag started way back in 2007,he seems intent on keeping it until May 2010.or whenever the GE is called.

    I hope we get a poll tonight or over the weekend i expect

    LAB 22/23%
    CON 42/43%
    LIBS 19/20%

    Brown seems intent on destroying himself & labour with the decision today on Council tax for the poor,the tories must be dumbfounded.

    Does Brown not know the damage 10% tax fiasco did to labour?does his logic dictate.only 300,000 get the money so it dosn’t matter?does he not realise its not only the Labour voters who get the £15 quid a week who are outraged but the whole Labour movement.

    I hope the tories come out & say something although why say anything,just let Brown continue digging his & labour’s political grave.

    To hit the poor when you have already taken their 10% tax rate away,awarded your BBC friends a licence fee rise & therefore pay rise,to still claim your cleaning/TV licence/Sky TV,on the taxpayer when earning over £200k a year including cold plated pension,does this man have no shame?

    All for savings of £160m when the July defcit alone was £8bn.

    My 7 year plan,cut Government by 1m to 5m,get rid of the none-jobs & the quango’s,simple,fair & effective.

  5. EX-PAT

    The SNP always have in the back in their mind whatever they do, how they can get one over on Westminster.

  6. Rich,

    Re your prediction:

    “I hope we get a poll tonight or over the weekend i expect

    LAB 22/23%
    CON 42/43%
    LIBS 19/20% ”

    You remind me of that saying if a tramp wears rags he is just a tramp,if a millionaire wears rags they are eccentric

    I am just jesting of course but that is exactly my line of thoight on the next poll. I think we may even see Con on 44. Labour are really suffering from a media onslaught at the moment and not even fighting back. Every way they turn they are subject of blame and bad headlines !

  7. Rich,

    The adjustments proposed to the LHA (not Council Tax) are a typical example of Brown micro-management without thinking through the consequences. It has all the same hallmarks as the 10p fiasco, with a cack-handed attempt to fix the original “mistake” only making matters worse.

    Of course, announcing a change which takes back overpaid benefits from the poorest is a red-rag to Labour MPs ,and shows Brown at his worst in terms of understanding how things appear.

    There are differences though. It can be argued that the 10p tax band was a good thing, so it was wrong to abolish it. The LHA on the other hand is a mess. Rather than tinker at the edges, it should be scrapped (as Cons have already said they would), and go back to the old system, but with tighter controls on amount given.

    It comes down to Brown’s inability to ever accept he may have made an error.

  8. WAYNE

    I have to get a couple right first before i get in your class though,i was praising you for the record.

    I just reckon Brown can’t fail to be hit by being seen as a coward again!

  9. Rich

    Thanks, I know.

    Schhhh … apparently he’s hiding behind the curtains in case he has to answer a question or make a decision!!

  10. ‘RICH
    The SNP always have in the back in their mind whatever they do, how they can get one over on Westminster.’

    so which party wouldn”t, that includes all parties not in power at westminster.


    New ICM/BBC scotland poll up on their website:

    “Majority ‘oppose’ Megrahi release”

    Consume with care: BBC polls are not weighted by past vote!

  12. Jack

    It is perceived rightly or wrongly that the SNP do stir up trouble with Westminster more than others for their own political games.

    Do you still think i was talking ‘rubbish’when i said the SNP would be hit by this in the polls,that the USA would threaten to boycott Scotland,i predicted both before they happened you claimed it would be forgotten in a day or two.

    I don’t really care this is a discussion forum,but there is a lesson in there somewhere Jack.

  13. STUART-why does past voting record matter in this Poll?

    Results are ( 1005 polled in Scotland only):-

    Right or wrong decision -60% wrong

    Should/not remained in prison-57% should

    Other options:-
    Never released -52%
    Released to Libya -29%
    Released to Scotland-15%

    Should KM have visited in prison – 52% No

    Should KM resign – 56% No

    Scotland’s standing damaged – 76% Net Damaged

    UK Govt. right not to get involved- 57% Right

    GB reputation damaged – 68% Net Damaged.

  14. Missed a question :-

    Was decision to release Mr Al-Megrahi taken on legal grounds alone or do you think there were there other factors that influenced the decision?

    68% Other factors influenced decision.

  15. Oscar – I expect Mike meant Westminster was superior to the Scottish administration in terms of powers. Salmond wants to act like he has lots of powers yet doesn`t use some he already has (like varying income tax by upto 3% either way).
    The SNP use any situation to destroy the union. I notice they do not mention Iceland as a model any more! Umm.

  16. The SNP have been hit among the ABC1 socio-economic grouping- now level pegging with the tories in this specific on 24%, this will have a major impact on Perth and North Perthshire for example where SNP rich voters might swing behind the tories- and lets not forget the 2005 precident…then the tories only managed a marginal increase in their scottish vote- however in perth and north perthshire they managed an unbelievable 5.4% swing FROM the SNP- if the did this again, even with a 2% SNP majority increase the seat would fall to the tories….so the impact of this Megrahi-MacAskil affair could be felt in the GE for the SNP.