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18 September 2014updated 09 Jul 2021 6:28am

Date with destiny: Scottish Grindr users back the Union (or do they?)

One intrepid young researcher set out to ask Scottish users of the gay/bi/bicurious-aimed dating app a slightly more serious question than usual. 

By Media Mole

All the final Scottish referendum polls are in, but – stop tweet – a last-minute surprise survey has come in: from Scottish users of the nation’s favourite gay “geosocial networking” app, Grindr. And it’s a fairly big No from them.  

The data [DISCLAIMER NSFW!] personally compiled by Twitter user @machotrouts, points to a result of 47 to 53 per cent in favour of the Union, not a million miles away from Ipsos Mori and Survation’s final polling.

Unsurprisingly, given that questions on Grindr are usually more along the lines of “Hi what u into?”, “Top or bottom?” or “Werk, bitch!” rather than @machotrouts’s “Good evening X. Do you believe Scotland should be an independent country?”, a large proportion of those polled were undecided or plain uninterested (much of the polling does seem to have been conducted in the wee small hours), with only 64 per cent offering definitive answers. However many were both patient and eloquent in laying out their cases for and against independence – despite it being 4am.

Unlike pollsters such as YouGov, who can only speculate, the @machotrout poll was able to give a breakdown of exactly how these undecided Grindr users reacted. So 38 of them were classed as “evading” the question, while a further 13 expressed bemusement at the line of enquiry. A further six were classed as “too horny to answer”, while many just reached for the “block” function. Here are the results in full: 

NO: 114

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YES: 101

Undecided: 24

Other opinion: 20

Indifference: 15

Evasion: 38

Bemusement: 13

Amusement: 2

Too horny to answer: 6

General rejection: 4

Did not respond: 318

Over to the NS’s in-house polling expert, who had this to say: “Questions abound. Not least because of the survey’s small sample size. @machotrouts solicited 655 opinions, with 337 people responding. This means it has a margin of error far greater than most polls, which ask around 1,000 people and enjoy a far higher response rate.

“With 655 people, @machotrouts’ numbers are liable to swing 4 per cent either way in a follow-up poll. If one only counts the respondents as making up the sample size, that number approaches 6 per cent.” 

Clearly the most glaring problem with the poll is that Grindr users tend towards a certain demographic, one with views not necessarily in line with the general make-up of Scotland. That said, where gay men go, the general population usually follows in their wake (fashion, hairstyles, hook-up apps…) Could Scotland’s early-adopter gay men be the blueprint to the referendum result?

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