The Meeting was held at GfK NOP on 21 March 2013
- John Curtice, President
- Nick Moon, GfK NOP, Secretary
- Peter Kellner, YouGov
- Simon Atkinson, Ipsos MORI
- Nick Howatt, TNS-BMRB
- Martin Boon, ICM
- Damian Lyons Lowe, Survation
- Keiran Pedley, ComRes
- Bill White, Lucid Talk
- Chris Eynon, System Three
- Jonny Heald, ORB
- James Endersby, Opinium
- Michael Simmonds, Populus
After reading the apologies received Nick Moon relayed the sad news that Anne-Marie Hill, of Marketing Means, and her fellow director Graham Dumper died of unrelated illnesses during 2012. The company continues, but is going in a new direction, and will not be polling in the near future, so has resigned from the BPC.
The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.
The application for membership that was pending at the last AGM was subsequently approved and Lucid Talk have now become members. An application was received and approved from Panelbase during the year and they too are now members.
There have been three complaints since the last AGM concerning BPC rules of disclosure, all concerning the required information from published polls not being on the member’s website by the deadline set in the Rules. In two cases the information was made available immediately after the complaint, and in the other the information was already on the website by the time the complaint was received having been posted soon after the deadline.
John Curtice reminded members that the required information should not just be on the member’s website, but should also be easy to find.
One member contacted the Officers about a grey area concerning disclosure and was advised how to deal with this with the client. The matter was then resolved.
There have been complaints about polls conducted by members but concerning matters outside the BPC’s jurisdiction, such as question wording, and these have received a response outlining what the BPC does and does not set out to do.
At the start of 2012 BPC had £4,259 in the bank. During the year there were outgoings of £625 (£284 for the website, £172 for Chairman’s travel expenses, £3 for AGM expenses, and the remainder for bank charges). There was income of £3,450 during the year, all from member subscriptions. The balance at the end of 2012 was £7,090.
Sub-Committee on Disclosure:
At the last AGM it was agreed that Patrick Sturgis would be invited to replace David Butler, and John Rentoul to replace Peter Riddell, as members of the sub-committee. Nick Moon has written to them and both have agreed. John Curtice has written to both David and Peter thanking them for their service.
Motion on 2013 membership fees:
As had been signalled at the previous AGM, the strength of the BPC’s finances led to a motion being proposed by Nick Moon and seconded by Simon Atkinson that membership fees should be reduced to a nominal £25 for 2013 before reverting to normal levels for 2014. The motion was carried unanimously.
Election of Officers:
John Curtice was re-elected unopposed as President
Nick Moon was re-elected unopposed as Secretary
Simon Atkinson was elected unopposed as member of the Management Committee.
Any Other Business:
Two pieces of communication have been received concerning members’ practices of prompting or not prompting for UKIP at voting intention questions. It was agreed that this was entirely for members to decide, but that it should be clear in any publication of polls whether UKIP had been prompted or not. It was further agreed that members would advise the Secretary of their current practice, and a statement would then be added to the BPC website giving the norm, while making it clear that members are free to use alternative approaches.
John Curtice announced he had got an ESRC grant to fund a website to collate data from polls on Scottish devolution and requested members to give him poll info in advance of publication, under embargo, to assist with this.
It was agreed John Curtice would write to Lord Ashcroft inviting him to join.