Hi, my name's James Kelly, and I run the Scottish pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop, which has a particular focus on opinion poll analysis. Remarkably, since the SNP's landslide general election victory in mid-December, there have been no opinion polls measuring support for independence. This leaves a major gap in our knowledge. In the immediate aftermath of the Leave vote in 2016, two polls were published showing a significant swing towards Yes - but if those polls hadn't been commissioned at the right time, we'd never have known that the surge had even happened, because it later subsided. It's possible (and I only say possible) that we're currently living through a post-election Yes surge that will be completely lost to the history books because nobody bothered to commission a poll. But this isn't just of academic interest - the publication of a poll showing a Yes lead at a time like this could in itself have an impact on public opinion, and help to shape the debate on Boris Johnson's outrageous attempt to stop the people of Scotland deciding their own future.
With your help, Scot Goes Pop will commission its first opinion poll, asking how people would vote on the referendum question "Should Scotland be an independent country?" There will hopefully also be supplementary questions.
A few points to bear in mind -
* There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that we'll get the result we want. Polls have surprised us plenty of times before. But even if the numbers are disappointing, it's surely a good thing if the independence question is no longer neglected by polls.
* If there are excess funds (or if not enough is raised to commission a poll), I'll consult with readers on what to do. Ideally the money would be ring-fenced for future polling, but if after a reasonable period of time no polling is possible or required, the funds could be dispersed to other pro-independence causes.
* There's always a chance that a poll will suddenly appear while this fundraiser is underway - if that happens, it would still be my intention to go ahead. There'd still be value in getting a second opinion from a different polling firm.
Let's break the silence on current support for independence - because the only person that silence suits is Boris Johnson.