The accusation of BBC bias in its news coverage against the cause of Scottish independence is a vexed issue to say the least.

Far from going away, it continues to rankle many people both north and south of the Border.

Last year a report from the BBC Trust found that Scottish viewers tend to have a “lower opinion” of the broadcaster, and that public perception of the BBC in Scotland has barely shifted since the aftermath of the 2014 referendum on independence.

In the run up to the referendum the battle lines were already evident, as Alex Salmond clashed on air with the likes of veteran BBC journalists Andrew Marr and Nick Robinson.

The suspicion and acrimony over accusations of bias only grew during the poll itself when former BBC Newsnight Economics Editor, Paul Mason remarked that he had not seen the corporation operating in such all-out propaganda mode since the invasion of Iraq.

In the wake of the referendum things were little better. The corporation’s perceived lack of impartiality culminated in protests outside the BBC’s Glasgow headquarters adding to a debate that has been characterised by lots of heat and little light.

Good reason then for ensuring that regular soundings are taken on the Scottish public’s position on this contentious issue.

As speculation grows over a possible second independence referendum The Herald, engaged BMG research to conduct just such a poll.

Pollsters were asked the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:

“The BBC tends to report news that is biased against the cause for Scottish independence.”

The findings give food for thought and show the BBC still has much to do in reassuring its Scottish audience over accusations of bias.

In all 36 per cent agreed with the statement with 23 per cent disagreeing. That 41 per cent were in the neither camp does leave a definitive answer open to question, but clearly audience disquiet continues to exist.

The lingering perception of outright political bias on the issue of independence remains, and not just among die-hard ‘Yessers.’

Some within the ranks of the BBC’s critical Scottish audience represent a wider articulate, politicised community and electorate who have thought long and hard about the issues of institutional bias. Clearly they remain unconvinced by reassurances from BBC management that their concerns are being addressed.

Much of their disquiet too stems not just from the perception of bias, but that BBC programming is still not tailored where appropriate to serve a Scottish audience.

There remains a prevailing sense that the BBC’s domestic news schedule is generated primarily from inside a London centric bubble.

There is a feeling too that Scottish viewers play second fiddle to their counterparts south of the border when it comes to scheduling or are served up content without relevant Scottish context.

Despite a considerable passage of time since the independence referendum, the BBC has displayed limited evidence of addressing such shortcomings.

Like any news organisation the BBC must be allowed to report without fear or favour, but it also has a responsibility to address the concerns of its licence payers both north and south of the Border.