Correct count

I am more and more irritated by statements in this paper and by its correspondents that the referendum result was 55 per cent against and 45 per cent in favour.

It is perfectly reasonable to round opinion poll results to the nearer integer because stating the result to one or more decimal places would smack of spurious accuracy as they are based on relatively small ­samples of the population.

However, the referendum result gives exact numbers for and against, and rounding to the nearest integer significantly ­understates the number of ­people who voted No by 10,972 and of course similarly overstates those who voted Yes. (I for one would object strongly to being one of these 10,972 ­misrepresented voters!)

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I appreciate that the correct percentage is lengthy so a ­compromise is to use 55.3 per cent and 44.7 per cent which reduces the overstatement to a more acceptable 112. Please in future could The Scotsman and its correspondents use these percentages which also demonstrate that the margin of victory was greater at 10.6 per cent, not 10 per cent.

It also has the added advantage of preventing the use of the emotive words “We are the 45”. “We are the 44.7” is more accurate but does not of course have the same resonance!

Raymond Paul

Braid Farm Road


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