Monthly Archives: January 2024

YouGov MRP poll for Conservative Britain Alliance

There has been some controversy about the identity of the organisation that commissioned a recent YouGov MRP poll, the first results from which were published in The Daily Telegraph on 15 January. The organisation in question is the Conservative Britain Alliance.

Inter alia, the British Polling Council rules on disclosure state that:

All data and research findings made on the basis of social or political polls conducted in the United Kingdom by member organisations that enter the public domain, must include reference to the following:

  • Client commissioning the survey;

This information, together with a range of other requirements about how a poll has been conducted and the details of the results are required to be posted on a member company’s website within two working days of initial publication.

In the case of this poll, extensive information was published on YouGov’s website on 15 January, and further information, as relevant, has been posted as further results from the poll have been published subsequently.

The BPC are aware that the Conservative Britain Alliance has not hitherto had any public profile, does not have a website, and is not known to be registered with, for example, Companies House, the Electoral Commission, or the Charities Commission.

However, the BPC have been advised that this is the organisation that was responsible for commissioning the poll, and that therefore there is no reason at present to believe that YouGov have not met their obligations under its rules. It is of course possible for any group of citizens to create a club, society or organisation whose activities do not require it to be registered with any body and which decides not to have a presence on the web.

The BPC would, of course, have no objection if further information about the commissioning organisation were to be made public, but this lies beyond its remit. Meanwhile, as is continually the case, the Council will be alive to identifying any lessons for its work that may be thought to arise from this incident.

British Polling Council Statement on Reporting of Polls and Surveys

The British Polling Council was set up in 2004 to uphold standards of disclosure that ensure that consumers of survey results entering the public domain have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results.

By promoting high standards of disclosure, the BPC aims to encourage the highest professional standards in public opinion polling and to advance the understanding and interpretation of poll results among politicians, the media and the general public.

This role will, of course, be particularly important in the run-up to the general election, due to take place later this year.

However, it should be made clear that the BPC is neither an arbiter nor a guarantee of quality of polling. Our remit is solely to ensure transparency.

It is made very clear to BPC members that they are not allowed to suggest that their membership is any way a badge of quality.

Similarly, it is entirely inappropriate for anyone involved in the reporting of the results of polls and surveys to stipulate that they will only report the results and surveys conducted by organisations that are members of the BPC.

In particular, it should be noted that only organisations conducting social or political surveys are eligible for BPC membership, and, consequently, the vast majority of organisations conducting commercial market research surveys are not eligible for BPC membership.