LITTLE did we think when we announced our intention in last week’s paper to give the people of Crieff and Strathearn a chance to indicate their opinion on the supermarket proposals for Crieff that it would cause such a stir.
The point has been made eloquently elsewhere that such straw polls are far from authoritative and at best can do no more than provide a snapshot in time of the views of those people who are able and interested enough to access the internet to vote.
We readily accept the possibility of manipulation by unscrupulous parties. It is our hope that our readers, no matter how strongly held their views one way or another, would not stoop to such levels. And it was never our intention that the result should be treated with the degree of seriousness that is now evident.
In our view this demonstrates that there is still strong feeling that the issue is not closed and that people wish to be consulted.
The Herald’s editorial policy on this issue is, and always has been, one of neutrality. We do not believe it is the place of your local newspaper to tell you how to think. However, we strongly believe that this is perhaps the most important issue to face the town in a generation.
The debate is not over and should not be stifled, and we feel the response in our letter’s pages and the interest that the poll has generated vindicates this.
And so to the result.
There was an unprecedented response, with over 2,100 votes cast since the poll opened last Thursday morning.
Sainsbury’s/Market Park took an early lead as there was a surge of visits to the website on the Thursday/Friday. Over the weekend the Tesco/Duchlage Farm option clawed its way back. Sainsbury’s/Market Park continued to hold a lead averaging roughly3–4 percentage points until the last moment on Wednesday morning which saw them overhauled by the Tesco/Duchlage Farm option.
The quick vote result ended:
Tesco at Duchlage Farm – 51.2%; Sainsbury’s at Market Park – 48.8%.