Does truth hurt in an election?

Falkirk Herald editor Colin Hume
Falkirk Herald editor Colin Hume

Does it always pay to tell the truth? I always wonder if there’s a difference what people say they want and what they actually want.

Often it boils down to what they feel the right answer is. For instance, you might respond to the question: ‘’What do you want for dinner?’’ with, ‘’Salad, please’’ when you’re really longing for fish and chips.

And, if you know any answer you give may be broadcast, you’ll be doubly keen to say the right thing.

That’s why I’m a bit sceptical when I hear the results of many surveys.

For instance, when asked if they would pay a bit more for a car that was better for the environment, I’m sure many would agree, but when it comes to parting with their cash, will they feel the same?

With the General Election campaign hotting up, pollsters are telling us voters would prefer to hear the cold, hard facts about what parties’ plans for the economy are rather than the sweeteners being thrown our way every day.

But it would be a brave person who knocked on a voter’s door and told the occupant they planned to make them poorer if elected!