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NEWS7 September 2004

Polling faces winter of discontent

MP to renew push for polling inquiry.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman is to press ahead with his campaign for an inquiry into the polling industry after Parliament's summer recess.

His Early Day Motion – which lamented the "decline of self-regulation of public opinion polling companies" and called for legislation if necessary – has attracted 80 signatures since it was tabled in May.

"We are still trying to get a debate on it [in the House of Commons]," a member of his Westminster team told Research. "The campaign is attracting a lot of attention."

Sheerman and Robert Worcester, founder and chairman of polling firm MORI, have both written articles on the issue for a forthcoming issue of The House Magazine, Parliament's in-house journal.

Meanwhile, the Market Research Society ( MRS ) has met with a number of pollsters in a bid to prepare a collective response to the threat of regulation. That response is expected in the next couple of months.

The MRS is understood to have a preference for self-regulation, although it has acknowledged that pollsters may have a different view on the issue.