The #NationBuilder @theSNP #NationalSurvey has been the biggest political survey in Scotland’s history. It has also been the first to use the Online Charter Methodology of E-Democracy, and is therefore a worldwide shining light for the acceleration of the relationship between democracy, and technology. Congratulations Scotland.
Kudos to the SNP Digital Team, for delivering this worldwide showcase. And thanks to #NationBuilder for helping Scotland show what can be done.
And all YES communities are also to be tremendously congratulated on such truly incredible efforts on the street, door-to-door, and via digital activism. Our Twitter feed shared many posts as the survey progressed.
Scots grafting out in Baltic conditions with unprecedented community spirit, people exhausted from delivering 1.24M hard copies, blistering discussions and igniting passions on Scotland’s journey to the dream of Independence.
The survey has demonstrated the finest most holistically inclusive conversation Scotland has ever had.
Two weeks prior to the survey concluding, Scotland’s First Minister confirmed that 1,673,289 people had already participated. If those people were to form a line, it would stretch from Dundee to London, and all the way back to Dundee – 950 miles!
How many more took part in the final two weeks? That remains to be be defined.
Writing on the final day of the survey, St Andrew’s Day, it also remains to be seen if those involved with the construction of the website, are however able to properly verify the data. The SNP have been asked about this on multiple occasions, but there has been no response. The #NationBuilder website states: ‘trusted by over 8,000 customers in 98 countries’, time will tell Scotland.
Over the last few days Twitter is of a clear impression that the SNP won’t be releasing the survey figures. Which is of course their prerogative. We haven’t yet had sight of a press release confirming this.
Twitter: @YesDayScotland has maintained a record of all accumulated media since the survey began on Sept 2nd. This has been somewhat restricted, due to lack of support from all 37 of Scotland’s newspapers, none of which are owned by Scotland’s YES communities.
There have been 3 small articles in Kirkintilloch, Milngavie and John O’Groats. There have been 2 mainstream articles, one in the Guardian, and one in The National. The latter understandably headlined that the information in the survey, ‘will be Gold Dust for YES activists’.
In other words, Scotland’s YESSERS have delivered the biggest YES Data-gathering process ever seen in Scotland, by Community. And THAT, is quite remarkable.
Given such incredible activity on the street and across social media, YESSERS everywhere are now wondering why publications which denote themselves as being proIndy, The National and The Sunday Herald, (both owned by Newsquest), have between them only allocated one tiny article in relation to the survey, published 1 day from the end of the survey? If there had been ongoing support, this would certainly have helped create and accelerate YES awareness for the survey itself.
With 2 weeks to go, and as 1.673M people had participated, this meant that 2.727M of the potential 4.4M electorate hadn’t.
Within the 2.727M there were entire swathes of Scotland who were completely unaware of the existence of the survey itself. On this final day today, that still remains the case.
From survey outset, it was patently obvious that the biggest challenge facing the SNP, was to somehow turn Nationalism from Political, to Cultural. That hasn’t happened yet. The YES communities remained as passionate as ever, but the national survey did not become a national talking point which embraced across the entire span of all 100% of the electorate.
So how could the survey have been further enhanced from a YES perspective?
MEDIA COVERAGE from ‘proIndy’ publications
NATIONAL AWARENESS, via Billboards, TV ads, radio ads, newspaper print and online ads
SOCIAL MEDIA In the closing days, the SNP failed to take full advantage of the incredible potentials of digital. To take advantage of the peak weekend times of social media, effective 5pm on Friday 25th November through to midnight on Sunday 27th November, Scotland could have seen the biggest pro rata digitalised revolution any country has ever seen, but it simply didn’t happen.
The SNP could have ‘called in’ and ‘deployed the digital might’ of their 124,000 members, with ‘a direct call to action’ requesting ’48 hours of the biggest digital push in Scotland’s history’, but that simply didn’t happen.
Our means of monitoring this aren’t rocket science. The survey didn’t become something which non SNP members and other non hardcore YESSERS felt compelled to share on Facebook. Or as one non-political contact stated, ‘I have 450 Facebook pals, and I saw nothing about the survey in my Facebook feed for the entire 3 months’.
Upon reflection, the 124,000 potential digital activists could have been pre-informed of the potentials within that final weekend of the survey. It could have been turned into ‘a seismic event’.
Main SNP Facebook posts were sporadic. The SNP leader’s page, with ballpark 300,000 Followers, inexplicably had no posts at all about the survey after mid September. The main SNP page, again with 300,000 Followers, had no survey posts between 7 days out from conclusion, and 2 days out.
Crucially, the SNP could also have supplemented general Facebook posts, with themed and demographically targetted Facebook trailers. We trialled 10 of these ourselves, in the sub 50 year old demographic, in parts of Scotland which were YES-centric in 2014. These profiled to 1.25% of Scotland with 55,000 impressions. Again underlining as well, why would many people Like or Share, if already aware of the survey itself?
(We’re delighted to share any trailer info with any YES organisations elsewhere, contact us direct. We were ourselves most surprised at just how cost-effective these were, and we achieved CTR’s Click Through Rates at average 400% – 500% above industry averages, with one particular #SexySocialism trailer at 2,000%!)
Marketing dynamics were also purposefully processed ‘over the consumer edge’, and then restrained back. In summary, a YES organisation could run a phenomenally exhilarating targetted trailer campaign across an entire Facebook span, for 4.4M electorate, for UK £20,000 – What a Digital Bang for that Buck!
YOUTUBE With the exception of a very cleverly presented, emotive and eloquent short film from the Kirkcaldy branch of the SNP, there wasn’t any other YouTube peripheral ‘marketing materials’ from any other sources. Future YES campaigns elsewhere can certainly intoduce this additional aspect.
SEQUENTIAL TEXTING The SNP set their 124,000 member a text on 14th September, saying ‘share your opinions and hopes now’. In the second last week of the survey, members were asked via social media, ‘to text 7 friends and ask them to participate’. Other than 14th September text, there were no other text messages sent en masse. At the very least, members could have been texted once per month, and once per week in the final month, with variations on these themes, with direct calls to social media action.
If the survey had been hosted and promoted by ScotGov, as opposed to the SNP, that would have increased overall participation.
If the survey had been properly interfaced with the electoral roll, that would have increased trust.
If the survey had visibly accumulating statistics, this would have in itself become a national talking point.
The survey should have had better ‘social media share capabilities’.
USE OF DATA On the final weekend of survey operation, if there were already 1,000,000 YES email addresses within the survey, would we have used those email addresses to call upon that entire database to accelerate and YESBLAST on social media? Well, you probably know the answer!
Future YES organisations can certainly learn from these aspects and refine further. We hope this information will be of use to others elsewhere in the future, with a view to peacefully resolving mass conflict, using Electronic Democracy.
Fundamentally, E-Democracy has certainly demonstrated in Scotland, that it is viable and extremely cost-effective to use digital to build the biggest YES movement scale and mass database ever seen pro rata in a country.
Will Catalonia and Quebec follow? Others elsewhere? Time will tell! And what about government institutions, Universities, public organisations? Without any doubt, Scotland’s SNP have led the E-Democracy way.
And in conclusion, where does Scotland go from here? There is nothing whatsoever to stop the SNP now establishing a NATIONAL DIGITALISED ONLINE YES REGISTER, to keep building upon what is clearly now the biggest YES database in Scotland’s history. What does the survey say? If for example there are 1.9M YES, the call can go out to all Activists, ‘we need to increase the YES REGISTER database to a 2.25M YES population majority’.
Then watch it happen. As if by digital magic. Gold Dust for YESSERS!
We’d like to say sincere gratitude for all kind comments and encouragment on Twitter. From both sides of the ongoing debate. Whilst we’re YES for Indy, E-Democracy as always has Zero bias!
All best wishes,
National Survey Press Links: Sept 3rd – Nov 30TH 2016
(John O’Groats article disappeared!)
Quotes about Scotland’s Electronic Democracy via #TheNationalSurvey
E-DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN START ‘Today I launched The National Survey. It’s Scotland’s biggest ever political listening exercise … Should we consider Independence again if that’s the best or only way to protect Scotland’s interests? The debate over the best future for Scotland is alive again … Ask your family and friends to take part too … You are all Scotland’s voice, so let’s hear you’ Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister of Scotland 2.9.2016
E-DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN CONCLUSION ‘St Andrew’s Day saw the official close of The National Survey. I want to thank you for taking part. The response has been overwhelming – with surveys still coming by the bag-load (thanks to our postie too!!). The National Survey was about listening to people. And, with the views people have shared I am determined to build, if we can, a consensus on the next steps for our nation. Let’s keep working hard. And together, we’ll keep Scotland moving forward’ Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland 1.12.2016
‘It’s been a highly effective exercise … the views of people expressed to canvassers will be of enormous benefit in future political events’ Alex Salmond, Former First Minster of Scotland, on the 2016 #NationalSurvey – http://www.survey2016.scot
Scotland’s #NationalSurvey: ‘A phenomenal achievement, and that data is going to be incredibly valuable to driving their campaign’
Alexander Nix, CE of Cambridge Analytica
NB BBC QUOTE ON CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
‘If there’s such a thing as celebrity in the world of political analytics, it’s currently being enjoyed by this company.
Cambridge Analytica advised Donald Trump’s team ahead of the US Presidential election, providing information on voters and their concerns’
Nick Eardley BBC NEWS Scotland Politics
“If they have that much data, if they’ve gathered that much data, they can begin to break down that homogenous mass of voters into individual constituents or groups of constituents, and that’s going to allow them to be much more targeted in the way they communicate with their audiences.” Alexander Nix, CE of Cambridge Analytica
‘The National Survey therefore is important. Post-EU referendum, how does Scotland best equip itself for the future? … Exercises in democracy can seem dull and futile, or loaded towards the wanted answers. But I urge everyone – nuanced unionists like me, ardent ones too, nationalists, every thinking Scot who cares about their country – to do the survey, and as honestly as they can. Negotiation is in all our interests’ Melanie Reid (2014 No Voter) of The Times, for STV News
‘A new independence initiative … it is aimed at people from ‘all walks of life’’ John Lamont MSP, Scottish Conservative chief whip
‘A massive data collection exercise … a massive and sophisticated exercise … Lib Dem campaigners will probably be going ‘ooh, that’s clever’’ Caron Lindsay, Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice
‘The biggest listening exercise in Scottish National Party history … a plan to reach more than two million Scots in 90 days through online surveys, doorstep discussions and town hall meetings … will run from now until St Andrew’s Day, on 30 November’ Libby Brooks, Scotland correspondent, The Guardian
‘A dedicated website hosting the survey went live today, as the nationalist party launches a huge data-gathering exercise to inform its drive for independence in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU against the will of the majority of Scots … the grassroots drive … aimed primarily at so-called ‘soft No voters’ who were willing to be persuaded of the benefits of independence last time around but remained unconvinced by polling day’ Chris Green iNews
‘A prolonged charm offensive … If you speak to groups of friends on WhatsApp, says the guide, why not drop the National Survey into the conversation?’ Euan McColm, The Scotsman
‘Massive, unprecedented consultation with the people of Scotland, over Independence … All very exciting! Do tell us what some of the results are!’ Gordon Brewer BBC Scotland
YouTube: We created a few minutes of footage showing the emergence of E-Democracy in Scotland, to highlight and say thanks to so many who have contributed. Shown only to 20 Twitter pals, if you want a link to view, contact us direct. Cheers for now