ONE of the difficulties of devising a question for an opinion poll is that respondents may sometimes not be very familiar with the subject they’re being asked about, which means the question also has to function as an explanation.

And the wordier that explanation needs to be, the greater the risk of perceived bias, because everyone has their own views about which details should be left in or left out.

But with a subject that everyone knows about, such as TV and radio, not a word of elucidation is required. All I had to do in the new Scot Goes Pop/Panelbase poll was very simply ask “Which parliament do you think should have law-making powers over Scottish broadcasting?” – a question so straightforward that nobody can seriously dispute the credibility of the results.

And those results are quite simply stunning. 65% of respondents want broadcasting powers to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament, and just 22% want them to stay where they are at Westminster – amounting to a 75%-25% split once don’t-knows are stripped out.

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Needless to say, such an outcome wouldn’t have been possible unless the base of support for the devolution of broadcasting extends well beyond the pro-independence movement. Remarkably, even a plurality of people who voted No in 2014 want Holyrood to ultimately be in charge of TV and radio, as do 60% of both Labour and Liberal Democrat voters.

The only party whose voters are actually opposed to the idea are the Tories – although a highly respectable 30% of Tory voters are in favour.

I suspect these results will be a cause of some concern for the anti-independence camp. A key unionist narrative is that Scotland enjoys the best of both worlds by having a wide range of devolved powers, while maintaining shared British institutions and governance where the Scottish people wish it.

And the traditional affection for the BBC is relied upon to ensure that broadcasting is one area where most people would supposedly agree that London control is best.

The poll results have just pulverised that myth. It’s inconceivable that the people who were interviewed for the poll didn’t realise that the devolution of broadcasting would have implications for the BBC.

If it turns out that Westminster’s hoarding of powers isn’t about serving the Scottish people’s needs and wishes, the only real alternative explanation is that it’s instead about keeping the tightest possible grip on Scotland, and acting as gatekeepers of the voices that are permitted to be beamed into our homes. One of the most familiar of those voices is, of course, the Queen, who was famously seen on news bulletins before the independence referendum warning voters to “think very carefully”.

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We later discovered that, by an astonishing co-incidence, her comment had swiftly followed a direct request from David Cameron that she should intervene in the referendum on the Unionist side by “raising an eyebrow”.

Buckingham Palace was reportedly furious when Cameron’s entreaty became public knowledge, but judging by the royal family’s activities in Scotland since then, the source of their embarrassment was not that they accepted they shouldn’t have been interfering in politics, but merely that they were annoyed to have been caught red-handed doing so.

I decided to use the poll to discover whether the public share the royals’ apparent view that it’s acceptable for them to drive a coach and horses through their constitutional duty to stay out of politics as long as they give the superficial appearance of remaining neutral.

And reassuringly, the answer is an overwhelming no. Even 36% of No voters accept that the royals should observe the constitutional proprieties, and refrain from taking sides in any way at all.