Referendum : More Bad News for Salmond's Proposed Question from BBC Maths course for adults

Laurie Bidwell

5 April 2012

There is another problem for Alex Salmond and his proposed question for the Referendum, said Councillor Laurie Bidwell , Labour’s Education spokesperson on Dundee City Council, and a former lecturer in Education.

Mr. Bidwell revealed that the style of the question, which asks “Do you agree….?”, has already been branded by a BBC online Maths course for adults as “ a leading question”.

Laurie Bidwell said,

“ This is more bad news for Alex Salmond coming from the BBC,  which is an independent broadcaster recognised world-wide for its impartiality.

“Alex Salmond’s proposed question on the Referendum is, ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?.’

“ However, the BBC Maths course for adults teaches that a question which begins ‘Do you agree’ is a leading question which it defines as  ‘one that leads the person answering it towards a particular answer.’

“Leading questions are intentionally worded to influence a person’s answer.

 “The Referendum question needs to be a single direct question that is unbiased.”

 Notes :

 The BBC online Maths course for Adults is at :

 The section that deals with  “Collecting Data/Designing Questionnaires as part of an “Exercise in identifying a ‘leading question’ is at :

It then asks which of the following questions are “leading questions” ( it defines a “leading question” as “one that leads the person answering it towards a particular answer." )

The answer sheet is at :

Here it states that questions a, b, d, and g are leading questions.

Questions a, d and g all begin by asking “Do you agree…”

 a asks “ Do you agree with the majority of people that bank workers earn too much?”

 d asks “ “Do you agree that giving your child a bottle is a really bad idea?”

 g  asks “Do you agree that eating chocolate raises your IQ?”

 The answer sheet says that these three are leading questions because “ saying ‘do you agree’ leads the person towards agreeing”




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