The British Polling Council (BPC) is an association of polling organisations that publish polls. The objectives of the Council ensure standards of disclosure designed to provide consumers of survey results that enter the public domain have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results. Through full disclosure the Council aims to encourage the highest professional standards in public opinion polling and to advance the understanding, among politicians, the media and general public, of how polls are conducted and how to interpret poll results. The BPC will also provide interested parties with advice on best practice in the conduct and reporting of polls.
The words “poll” and “survey” are used to describe a variety of data collection exercises. The BPC is concerned only with polls and surveys that set out to measure the opinions of representative samples, for example the views of all adults, or all voters. Membership is limited to organisations who can show to the satisfaction of the BPC that the sampling methods and weighting procedures used are designed to accurately represent the views of all people within designated target groups (such as all adults, or voters etc).
To these ends the members of the BPC will appoint as officers, journalists and academics with particular expertise in the field of polling to assist the BPC ensuring the highest standards are maintained at all times.
The BPC is modelled on the National Council for Published Polls in the USA (www.ncpp.org). We are grateful for the help and advice given by the NCPP in setting up the BPC.
Please contact a member of the Management Committee if you have any questions relating to an issue covered by the BPC’s terms of reference.