NEWS28 May 2019

Sydney Morning Herald and the Age cease political polling

Asia Pacific Media News Public Sector

AUSTRALIA – Newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age have ended their contract with Ipsos after its polls forecast the wrong result of Australia’s federal election.

Australia election_crop

All major polling companies predicted that the Labor Party would win the election, but the second-term incumbent Coalition government took a slim majority.

The decision by Nine Publishing, the owner of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, to end its relationship with Ipsos, was announced in a column written by Tory Maguire, national editor of both papers.

Maguire said the papers had already decided months ago to “reassess” their arrangements for polling after the election, but now had no ongoing contract with “Ipsos or any other polling company”.

While the decision not to poll is indefinite, Maguire said: “We have a responsibility to put our finite reporting resources into journalism that best serves our readers. During this campaign our best reporting on the mood of the electorate was done by journalists out on the road.”

Brian Schmidt, Nobel Laureate in physics and vice-chancellor, Australian National University, wrote in the Guardian of the polls conducted during the election: “The odds of those 16 polls coming in with the same, small spread of answers is greater than 100,000 to 1.” 

Ipsos said in a statement that it would conduct an assessment of its polling during the coming weeks “in order to understand what the research company could have done to achieve a more accurate outcome”.