Annual General Meeting, 1st February 2024, 11.00

Savanta, 60 Great Portland St, London W1W 7RT, and also online,

In attendance

  • Professor Sir John Curtice – President
  • Professor Jane Green – President Elect
  • Simon Atkinson – Management Committee member
  • Nick Moon – Secretary/Treasurer
  • Tom Holford – Censuswide
  • Martin Boon – Deltapoll 
  • Lachlan Rurlander – Whitestone Insight
  • Chris Holbrook – Find Out Now 
  • Chris Hopkins – Savanta
  • Bill White – Lucid talk 
  • Philip von Scheltinga – Redford and Wilton

Attending online

  • Kingsley Woldegiorgis – Stonehaven
  • Alex Morrison – Observunt
  • Conleth Burns – More In Common
  • Martin Baxter – Electoral Calculus
  • Anthony Wells – YouGov
  • Ivor Knox – Norstat
  • Gregor Jackson – Walnut
  • Kieran Kumaria – Stack Strategy
  • Gideon Skinner – Ipsos
  • Robert Struthers – BMG
  • Seb Wilde – Public First
  • Johnny Heald – ORB
  • Tyron Surmon – More in Common
  • John Wright – Maru
  • Damian Lyons Lowe – Survation

1. Apologies for absence

None had been received

2. Minutes of the last AGM

These had already been approved by Members

3. Officers’ reports

  • Financial report

The financial position is very healthy, with income of £8,650 and expenditure of £4,289.59 leaving a healthy balance of £27,183.36. The Treasurer’s report was  received with no questions

  • Disclosure issues dealt with by the officers

There were no disclosure issues that hadn’t been immediately resolved

  • Membership applications dealt with by the officers

Five organisations had successfully applied to join during the year. Damian Lyons Lowe raised the issue of Members describing themselves as “accredited by the BPC” rather than as “members of the BPC”. This is inaccurate and it was agreed that all Members would be reminded not to use the words “accredited” or “approved”

  • Web and social media report

The BPC now has nearly 2000 followers on X. For the moment there are no plans to use other social media. It is policy not to enter into debates on X or to respond t posts. It was suggested that we should post a pinned comment saying the BPC doesn’t reply via X and people should write to us formally

4. President’s report 

In addition to his written report, the President said the BPC had felt obliged to respond to the debate following the recent YouGov MRP poll, and so put out press release saying YouGov hadn’t broken any rules.

In his valedictory remarks the President stressed that BPC has had to change and has done so successfully, and has a high reputation, underpinned by relatively little infrastructure.

5. Appointment of the officers

  • President

Professor Jane Green was proposed by Nick Moon and seconded by Simon Atkinson

  • Secretary/Treasurer

Nick Moon was proposed by Jane Green and seconded by Lochlan Rurlander

  • Management Committee member

Simon Atkinson was proposed by Jane Green and seconded by Martin Boon

6. Proposal for Early Careers Network (Paper) J

The new President began by saying that she thought the  event had gone very well, and invited comments on the paper. Johnny Heald agreed the event had been a success and said that ORB would be happy to support the development of the network, and to sponsor future events. It was agreed that the pre election seminar should be late June, with the Officers mandated to make arrangements alongside the Early Careers Group. LSE is to be approached as a potential venue again

7. Role of BPC in qualitative research 

Martin Boon raised the point that there was an increasing tendency for people to quote broad findings from focus groups, without any background information on methodology – how many groups, who with, when etc – and he was concerned that the BPC might be open to criticism over this. There was discussion of the pros and cons but a consensus emerged that qualitative research did not fall within the definition of “polling” and thus fell outside the BPC’s remit. It was agreed not to take the idea of legislating for qualitative work any further.  However, if members wish to raise this again in future, the President highlighted that they are, of course, very welcome to do so. Damian Lyons Lowe suggested adding something on the BPC website saying why focus groups were different from polls, and why focus groups are not in our remit. The Officers to suggest a form of wording.

8. Any Other Business 

Jane Green thanked Savanta for hosting the event.

Nick Moon proposed a vote of thanks to John Curtice for all his work over 16 years. He announced that by way of thanks a cordless strimmer (for the allotment) and a Royal Opera House voucher were on their way to him, and also presented him with an abacus inscribed “You can count on your friends from the BPC”.

Martin Baxter thanked all those members who had contributed to the submission on the Census.