Comment: Was our poll on 20mph zones rigged?

The Enforcer mascot has been used to promote Edinburgh's new 20mph zones
The Enforcer mascot has been used to promote Edinburgh's new 20mph zones
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What do Edinburgh residents really think about the new 20mph limit, asks Deputy Editor Euan McGrory.

OPINION polls can be tricky things.

Of course a quick question on a newspaper website can never be anything like a scientific test.

But sometimes a straw poll like that can be useful in helping to judge what people are thinking, especially when people respond in large numbers and there is a clear trend in what they are saying.

READ MORE: Our 20mph poll divides opinion among Edinburgh residents

Our 20mph survey is harder than usual to read, even though it prompted a near-record response of more than 20,000 votes. There were unusual voting patterns on this occasion which does make it look like there has been an organised attempt to ensure a positive result.

We have seen this on rare occasions over the years, always when the issue has been particularly contentious and members of at least one organisation felt there was a lot to gain from a particular result. That doesn’t mean there has been “a fix”.

There is nothing untoward, for example, in a large numbers of people voting for something they believe in after a group they belong to alerted them to a poll.

It does mean we have to put a particular “health warning” on today’s results. In my view, the only safe conclusion to draw is that the city remains divided over the scheme at this stage.