BPC/ MRS Polling Inquiry
The pre-election polls significantly under-estimated the size of the Conservative lead over Labour at the 2015 General Election, with nearly all the final polls calling the ‘horse race’ as a dead heat. The failure to predict the Conservative majority has led many commentators to question the value and robustness of polling methodology, with some even calling for polls to be banned in the final weeks preceding an election.
In response to these events, the British Polling Council and the Market Research Society have instigated an independent inquiry into the causes of the discrepancy between the final polls and the election result, to be chaired by Professor Patrick Sturgis of the University of Southampton. The remit of the poll is to assess the accuracy of the polls and identify any inaccuracies, their causes and whether they are part of an ongoing pattern or unique to 2015. The panel will also investigate whether there was any ‘peer’ bias amongst the polling companies, and also review how the results of the polls were communicated to commendators and the public. The reivew will seek to make recommendations to improve the conduct and reporting of future polls, and if necessary changes to the rules and obligations.
A report is due to be subitted by 1st March and will be published as soon as possible thereafter. But in the meantime, you can submit your views here (https://www.ncrm.ac.uk/polling/) and read presetations from the main polling firms including Ispos MORI, Populus, Comres, Survation, YouGov and ICM (https://www.ncrm.ac.uk/polling/document.php)