NEWS28 July 2023

Half of countries restricting political polling

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THE NETHERLANDS – The share of countries limiting publication of pre-election polls is at 46%, with significant numbers of nations are still banning election polling, according to research from Esomar and the World Association for Public Opinion Research (Wapor).

Ballot box

The study found that 15% of countries did not permit any election polling, with another six countries have embargoes on publishing pre-election poll results lasting 30 days or more before an election.

More than 25% of countries have prohibitions on publishing surveys about religion, and 20% do not allow polling on crime and on voting.

In 43% of the 157 countries covered in the research, the quality of reporting about polls in the news media was rated by research respondents as being low or very low, nearly twice the share of countries where local reporting was rated highly.

Joaquim Bretcha, director general at Esomar, said: “Esomar will use this important study to highlight the vital role that social and opinion research play in providing decision makers and the general public with access to reliable measures of public attitudes.”

Robert Chung, president at Wapor, said: “Liberty and quality are two basic values guiding all public opinion research communities in their efforts to advance humanity.

“Wapor will continue to work with Esomar and other organisations to advance this ideal.”