NEWS22 May 2015

Details of BPC opinion poll inquiry released

News UK

UK — Further details of the British Polling Council (BPC)’s inquiry into the performance of the opinion polls around the 2015 general election have been published.


The inquiry, supported by the Market Research Society (MRS), will be chaired by Prof. Patrick Sturgis, director of the National Centre for Research Methods at the University of Southampton. Sturgis will be supported by eight people with professional experience in conducting and analysing survey and polling data. None were directly involved in conducting published polls during the election campaign.

They are:

  • Dr. Nick Baker, Group CEO, Quadrangle Research Group Ltd
  • Dr. Mario Callegaro, senior survey research scientist, Google UK
  • Dr. Stephen Fisher, associate Professor of Political Sociology, University of Oxford, who runs the Electionsetc website
  • Dr. Jouni Kuha, associate Professor of Statistics, London School of Economics and lead statistician for the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll
  • Prof. Jane Green, Professor of Political Science, University of Manchester and Co-Director of the 2015 British Election Study
  • Prof. Will Jennings, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Southampton, and a member of the Polling Observatory team
  • Dr Ben Lauderdale, associate Professor in Research Methodology, London School of Economics and one of the team behind the website
  • Dr. Patten Smith, research director, Research Methods Centre, Ipsos MORI and Chair of the Social Research Association

The inquiry has been set up to establish the degree of inaccuracy in the polls, the reasons for these inaccuracies, and whether the findings and conduct of the polls were adequately communicated to the general public. It is due to report by the beginning of March 2016.

The inquiry welcomes submissions from all interested parties. Further information on the work of the inquiry, as well as details of upcoming public meetings and information on how to submit information, is available here.

“The polls clearly gave the public a misleading impression of the likely outcome of the 2015 election and this shaped the reporting of the campaign,” said Prof. John Curtice, president of the BPC. “The Council is committed to ensuring that there should be a thorough and transparent investigation into what apparently went wrong, and how both the conduct and the reporting of the polls might be improved in future.

“We are deeply grateful to Prof. Sturgis and the members of the Inquiry, all of whom have substantial professional expertise in the methodology and analysis of surveys, for agreeing to conduct this inquiry.”