Key man in referendum debate

There was a blow to both the Yes and the No campaigns yesterday when a new poll found that the most popular figure in the debate was Professor John Curtice.


A poll by SCWS* revealed that 90 per cent of respondents thought the professor was the most believable spokesman in all the coverage of the referendum. “He is streets ahead of everyone else in terms of popularity. He has knowledge, gravitas and charm according to the voters which they say is totally lacking from both the For and Against campaign figures,” said a spokesman.


In fact, deeper analysis reveals that most voters think Professor Curtice is the First Minister. A third think he should be and more respondents recognised him than could identify Willie Rennie by a factor of 10 to one.


He is the most important figure in the debate and now appears in 85 per cent of all political programmes in the UK and writes in 95 per cent of newspapers.


Experts believe the large number of Don’t Knows is the result of many thousands of Scots waiting for him to tell them how to vote.


But some commentators think this is a worrying trend as it places too much power in the hands of one individual. The SCWS spokesman said: “The awkward truth is that if at the last minute before voting Professor Curtice suddenly declares he will vote Yes, the result is in the bag for Mr Salmond.”


The professor said: “There is polling evidence that I am the most popular political scientist but you have to remember that in online polls without sociological filters that quartile disappears and the British Social Attitudes survey demonstrates clearly that my recognition factor declines sharply during the summer holidays. In truth there is little to be proud of in being more popular than Alistair Darling.”


John Curtice has risen from near obscurity at Strathclyde University to head a global organisation based at his state-of-the-art office at the top of the Science Tower beside the River Clyde. He has the only key to the lift that many Scots believed was defunct. From there can see most of Scotland laid out before him.


He has so many media outlets that he has taken over Studio C at the nearby Pacific Quay headquarters of BBC Scotland. As a result the BBC has had to move the production of Nina and the Neurons to another studio.


“He has clocks along one wall with time zones in Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Washington, London and Bellshill where his sampling centre is based,” said a BBC insider. He is now the dominant figure in Scottish broadcasting. Kenny McQuarrie, the head of BBC Scotland has been seen leaving studio C with an empty tray. “The professor gets anything he wants.”


BBC Scotland plans an extended season of Professor Curtice programmes including John Curtice’s Civilisation, Curtice Interviews….Stephen Hawking and Children in Need with John Curtice.


*Scottish Cooperative Wholesale Society


14 thoughts on “Key man in referendum debate

  1. cynicalHighlander

    You mean he is competing with Nate Silver.

  2. This is a brilliant blog Derek. It’s going to the top of my favourites list. 😉

  3. Did the professor begin his career as a clown to entertain children at birthday parties? We all have to start somewhere I suppose but you know what they say?
    Once a clown, always a clown! That`s what Coco used to tell me anyway.

  4. Curtis – the secret weapon of the Great North British…

  5. First they ignore you. Then they mock you. Then they fight you. Then they employ Professor Curtice to explain why you didn’t really win because you failed to factor in various weightings which you didn’t take into account properly. Then you’re confused. Then you lose.

  6. Hope the Prof. has some insurance, wouldn’t want to lose him……..

  7. Please keep ’em coming!
    Is the prof married ? I sometimes idly wonder what kind of woman lets her man appear on telly looking less than pristine.( that’s the kinda thing that influences my vote doncha know!)

  8. I’m afraid this comments section is degenerating into a litany of “Bwhahahahaha, terrific satire Derek!” But what else is there to say?

  9. Don’t worry about not having anything to say both camps will drop the inevitable clanger in the course of the year to come. They, along with the BBC and paper based MSM, will need to be subjected to scrutiny ; a bit of irony; derision and wit.
    Write what you can when you can many here will look forward to your view on things political.

  10. […] y sociales en la universidad de Strathclyde de Glasgow, parece ser que se está convirtiendo en la figura académica de referencia sobre el tema del referéndum escocés. Sus agudos análisis y su neutralidad le han hecho más […]

  11. Derek, a new career awaits as a stand-up. As wan door shuts, da da da .

  12. Just leaving for Bellshill anyone know what time it is there?

  13. Brilliant! Keep them coming.

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