Sunday, April 06, 2008

Survey closed

That was quick! Anyway, I have my one hundred respondents and very interesting reading they make too. I wont be giving you the full report right this second as I want to do some full on number crunching but I'll make a few comments now.

Firstly, thanks to everyone who completed the survey - I hope it wasn't too long for you. I know a few people dropped out of the last question (About You) and that may either be because they didn't want to admit to being a member of Socialist Resistance or simply that people got worn out by the fourth page.

Secondly, there have been a couple of friendly emails asking about why subjects like ideas weren't covered. Well, that's related to the first point really - a shorter focused poll is likely to get higher responses and is easier to evaluate. It's also a subject that relies upon a large amount of qualitative data, which takes a lot more time to work on and assess accurately.

There are also plenty of valid points to be made about exact choices that I gave people. for instance one contributor commented "No SNP on party choices or Scottish Green Party? These are the most left wing parties actually in govt". A very reasonable point, which would also go for Plaid Cymru and the Co-operative Party.

In a similar vein I was also rebuked for not including "Communist" and "Libertarian Socialist" in the list of terms lefties might use to describe themselves. Well spotted those comrades, both should have been included - although I don't feel too bad about it as the list would never have really been "complete".

Now obviously this is a "bit of fun" and not a highly scientific survey but I also think it's important not to draw too many conclusions from the single Solidarity member who replied about his organisation. Which means when filtering the responses I'm mainly going to compare unaffiliated lefties (27.8%) with the entire survey population and also take a look at three groups Greens (16.7%), Labour Party Members (12.5%) and members of other left of Labour groups (43%) none of whom alone gave me more than 10%. Which shows you where my readership lies if nothing else.

But whatever caveats I might like to bring up I still think there are some interesting results in there. For example when looking at the kinds of issues that people thought should be the "important campaigning areas" in the next few years.

As an open question I obviously have to group together responses in some logical way, so "council housing", "social housing" and "treating people that live in council housing less like shit" all get grouped into "HOUSING" - I hope I've been fair when doing this, after all it's the broad brush strokes that we're after.

  • Climate change and the environment
  • War
  • Public services / privatisation
  • Housing
Are the top four issues with economic issues, civil/human rights, trade union issues and the rights of immigrants coming in not far behind. Other areas that were mentioned, but by less than ten people each were democracy/constitutional reforms, fascism, women's rights, community, socialism / left unity, international solidarity and self determination for Scotland.

The European Union and Pensions both got just two votes each and only one person mentioned either religion or crime. I found the fact that pensions came so low down the list reasonably worrying and was surprised about the low level of responses mentioning international solidarity (outside of war/peace issues) considering the level of interest that there is in these issues on the left.

The respondents also thought that the area the left had been weakest in over the last few years were the very issues of economic inequality and the cost of living - whilst the best, with a resounding "quite good" was the area of gay rights. Well done us.

More to come...

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