I have been running my own small poll asking visitors to my site: Should the state own forests in England?
Now seems a good a time as ever to close the poll. The public consultation is well underway, and there are increasing indications that the Government are unhappy about the public forest sale policy. In Prime Minister’s Question Time today, the Leader of the Opposition raised the issue that the public consultation was not asking the right question: namely that the public should be asked whether the forests should be sold, not how they should be sold.
This was the basis of my poll that I launched in December, as I felt that the public were not being asked this key question. I did not object to the questions about ‘how’ but I felt that the whole public consultation was ‘leading’ by not asking the question ‘whether’ they should be sold at all. When the consultation was published I was even more dismayed by the blatant leading questions.
- Total number of voters was 149. This was a not a massive number especially in comparison to the numbers signing up to the public campaigns, but I know from comments and web stats that I captured a very good cross-section of people, not only concerned members of the public, but professional foresters and arboriculturists.
- 84% (125 voters) of those polled thought that the state should own forests.
- 16% (24 voters) of those polled thought that the state should not own forests.
- These percentages varied very little throughout the length of the poll, meaning that various media stories and events did not appear to have a significant effect on the results through time.
- Here is a capture of the statistics produced by the Poll Daddy site.