TODAY’S findings are perhaps the most startling result from the new Scot Goes Pop/Panelbase poll. However the most committed independence supporters may feel about the BBC, there’s not much doubt that the state broadcaster retains the affection and trust of a significant segment of the population, and I’d have expected those people to defend the BBC in response to most polling questions.

But when respondents were asked whether the BBC have done enough to make the public aware of the changes to the Scottish Parliament’s powers proposed by the Internal Market Bill, the resounding answer “No” came back from every quarter.

Some 77% of the whole sample, 86% of Yes supporters, 63% of No supporters, 89% of SNP voters, 68% of Labour voters and a remarkable 62% of Conservative voters felt the BBC has failed in this case. Country of origin makes no difference – 77% of those born in Scotland and 76% of those born in England said the BBC hasn’t kept people informed.

We can only speculate as to why the most natural supporters of British institutions in general, and of the BBC in particular, reacted in this way. But the most obvious explanation is that when they were asked the question by Panelbase, other questions immediately formed in their minds, such as: “what Internal Market Bill?”, and “have I actually heard about any changes to the Scottish Parliament’s powers before I took this poll?”.

READ MORE: Large majority of Scots say BBC has failed them over Brexit power grab bill

An earlier question summarised some powers being taken away from Holyrood, and it’s likely respondents would have felt that those powers are important enough that a public service broadcaster doing its job properly should have been shouting about this story from the rooftops.

The fact that people have been watching the BBC and yet know little or nothing about the power grab will have led them inexorably to the conclusion that something has gone very badly wrong here.

Essentially the BBC’s misdeed is that it has decided that the impact of the bill on devolution should and will be unimportant to people and therefore doesn’t need to be covered.

When The National reported on the earlier finding of the Panelbase poll, that there should be a referendum before the power grab is allowed to take effect, and that The Vow will have been breached if that doesn’t happen, a Unionist took to social media to state sarcastically that people he knew were talking about nothing else but the bill.

They didn’t care about Euro 2020 qualification – what mattered was obscure alterations to the devolution settlement. But isn’t this a self-fulfilling prophecy? How can people tell whether they care about something if they don’t know about it in the first place, or if the broadcaster so many trust and rely upon hasn’t bothered to explain the implications?

Yet so often the complete opposite happens. Something viewers might not otherwise have thought about much becomes important to them because the BBC decides it should be and covers it relentlessly. For example, the calls in 2017 for an indyref to be “taken off the table”, or attempts to chip away at public faith in NHS Scotland.

In a nutshell, the BBC’s reporting priorities lead it to regularly put the Scottish Government and independence in the dock, but to look the other way when Unionism might find itself in a tight spot. As ever, the BBC will pathologise rather than engage with any criticism, but that doesn’t mean the issue isn’t real.