WHILE it was once the case that a lie could spread halfway around the world before the truth could lace up its boots, now it seems to get the full way before the truth has even rolled out of bed.

Misinformation and zombie facts – untruths that will not die no matter how often they are put down – are as much a part of online discourse now as cat pictures. And within the Yes movement, the scale of unfounded posturing around trans people feels to have penetrated the very roots of the campaign. And yet, it isn’t nearly as bleak as it seems.

A new Savanta ComRes poll produced for the BBC has revealed some interesting differences in attitude, many that we already knew to be the case and some that have brought new insights.

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The headline news of the poll is that a majority in Scotland support making it easier for transgender people to access a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), and more support than oppose moving to a system of self-declaration; the act of being able to access a GRC with greater dignity and without the need for a medical diagnosis.

This is a step that would bring more autonomy to trans people living in Scotland, in line with international best practice. But this isn’t really new information. The Scottish Government-run consultations on the proposals for reforming the Gender Recognition Act both showed majority support from Scots.

According to this latest poll, the majority of women back self-ID plans, as do the majority of the population under 54, while the highest levels of opposition to the proposals would appear to be coming from men over the age of 55 – which presents a real problem for many so-called gender critical groups who have been selling us an entirely different story.

There have been very deliberate attempts to frame discussions around trans liberation as a fight between feminists and the trans community; a fabrication that was intended to portray trans people as a threat to women’s rights. The data, however, has always shown this to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish and this latest poll once again backs that proposition.

It is closer to a fight between an alliance of women and LGBTQ+ people (many within that holding both those identities) against the same patriarchal forces that have always sought to oppress – and that data would suggest that the same story broadly plays out across the Yes movement too, despite how seemingly widespread anti-trans narratives have become within its ranks. A look at the polling shows that on the issues of making it easier to obtain a GRC and on supporting a system of self-declaration, those who voted for independence in 2014 are aligned in their support.

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A significant majority of 2014 Yes voters back taking steps to make obtaining a GRC simpler. And on the issue of self-ID, a majority of Yes voters were also in support, while a majority of No voters were opposed.

A rather pernicious piece of repeated dogma from anti-trans activists within the independence movement is that trans people, by dint of living authentically and campaigning, have infiltrated the Yes movement and scuppered any chances of a future referendum.

The SNP, so the argument goes, have become so obsessed with The Trans Agenda™ that they’ve put independence on hold. Instead choosing to placate the loony left, sorry, the politically correct, sorry, the woke mob (that’s the one now), is the priority.

Given that the SNP has yet to address crippling waiting times for access to transgender healthcare in Scotland, nor reform the Gender Recognition Act – despite promising to do so across several elections – this claim would appear to hold as much water as a leaky sieve. But who needs it to be true when you have a handy scapegoat at the ready?

Real opposition to self-ID across Yes voters is, and remains, a minority position – even if those opposed are often the loudest voices in the room. Naturally, you would hope that this information may prompt a degree of self-reflection on just who the real agitators and disruptors of the independence movement are, but if the last several years have shown me anything it is that it won’t be coming any time soon.

The Yes movement has often had problems with men who have found their grip on its direction under threat. I’ve seen first-hand the pile-ons and abuse that women within have received for challenging all-male panels, often from activists who don’t seem to realise that a diversity of voices advocating for Scottish autonomy is a strength. Instead, they are far more interested in speaking to themselves, and it is of no shock to me that those are the same voices who have found themselves in opposition to trans liberation now.

This must be troubling news for the ailing Alba Party, a political black hole for the many cranks who found their careers stalling elsewhere, who have mostly distinguished themselves from other pro-independence parties by holding dodgy livestreams and being opposed to GRA reform.

After being hammered in the last Scottish election and gaining less than 2% of the vote, they now approach the council elections with broadly the same message for the same audience. And with their minority position in the Yes movement confirmed, they can expect a similar drubbing this time round.

Still, it is heartening to know that the progressive Yes movement I campaigned with isn’t gone, even if it is being drowned out for the moment.