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.