NEWS21 December 2012

Wapor calls on industry to protect polling freedoms

Features North America

GLOBAL — Major governmental impediments to the free flow of public opinion surveys remain common across the globe with blackout periods pre-election being the biggest cause for concern, according to a study by the World Association for Public Opinion Research (Wapor).

In its fifth worldwide study on the freedom to publish opinion poll results, Wapor, working with the public opinion programme at The University of Hong Kong, scrutinised 85 different countries. It found that 46% of countries had blackout periods during which pre-election poll results could not be published, and there has been no overall improvement in the freedom to publish pre-election polls in the last decade.

Additionally the study found that among the 38 countries/regions that impose an embargo on publishing poll results before an election, a large majority enforce those restrictions through government agencies or election administration offices ( 87%) followed by independent agencies ( 5%) and broadcast/press regulatory agencies ( 3%).

Wapor says its survey seeks to remind the research industry that it must take on the task of safeguarding the freedom to publish opinion polls. “With the knowledge gained through the study, Wapor will continue working to expand the rights of researchers around the world to conduct surveys and to freely publicise their results,” it said.

Information on the findings can be found in the full report on its website: