NEWS13 July 2009

Greek gov't pushes for two-week ban on election polls

Europe Government

GREECE— The Greek government is planning to ban pollsters from releasing opinion poll results in the two weeks leading up to elections, according to local media reports.


A previous two-week ban was cut to two days in 2008 by the same government which now seeks to overturn that rule.

The move is said to be in response to incidences during the recent European election campaign when “many opinion polls yielded widely divergent results and constant reversals”, said government spokeman Evangelos Antonaros, quoted on the Express news website.

He added: “The result was to create confusion, instead of providing better information.”

But polling expert Michael Traugott argues that the best way of dealing with the problem of variability in results is “not to hide it, but subject it to scrutiny”.

As past-president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (Wapor), he plans to raise the issue with colleagues with a view to contacting the Greek government in oppositon to the ban.

The organisation promotes full disclosure and no prior restraints on the dissemination of polling data.