The Office for National Statistics is running a public consultation exercise which will inform a recommendation to government on this subject.
The Meeting was held at Ipsos and online on 24 January 2023
- Professor Sir John Curtice, President
- Nick Moon, Secretary/Treasurer
- Simon Atkinson, Management Committee
- Damian Lyons Lowe, Survation
- Luke Taylor, Kantar Public
- Will Clothier, Yonder
- Charles Moore, Censuswide
- Anthony Wells, YouGov
- Bill White, LucidTalk
- Gideon Skinner, Ipsos
- Joe Twyman, Deltapoll
- Martin baxter, Electoral Calculus
- Kieran Kunaria, Stack
- Chris Hopkins, Savanta ComRes
- Brian Cooper, Omnisis
- Seb Wilde, Public First
- Ivor Knox, Panelbase
- Chris Holbrook, findoutnow
- Luke Bethem, Stonehaven
- Erik Larsen, People Polling
- Alex Morrison, Obsurvant
- Duncan Garnett, Focaldata
1. Apologies for absence
Gregor Jackson, ICM
Philip van Scheltinga, Redfield & Wilton
2. Minutes of the last AGM
The minutes were approved
Under Matters Arising JC introduced his minor revision to the Sampling guidance, and the revised Guidance was accepted by the meeting
3. Officers’ reports
- Financial report
A written report was supplied in advance of the AGM.
During 2022 we received £3,900 in subscription fees, much of it 2021 subs. £2,200 subs remain outstanding from 2021
Expenditure during the year was £2,457.23, most of which was for the conference held in November. We owe creditors £1,331.32, partly for the conference and partly for web hosting.
The bank balance at the end of 2022 was £22,722.95
With the current membership annual subscription income is £4,000.
GS suggested we might spend some money on an event to encourage more diverse representation in the industry.
JC reported that the BPC (along with the MRS) is sponsoring an award from the NCTJ.
MB suggested that as the November conference had been a success we should consider making it an annual event, the Officers agreed to consider this.
- Disclosure issues dealt with by the officers
There were no complaints received during the year that fell within the BPC remit, and JC thanked members for ensuring that their obligations under the rules were consistently being met.
- Membership applications dealt with by the officers
Seven new members had been approved since the last AGM: Bradshaw Advisory, Censuswide, Obsurvant, People Polling, Stonehaven, Techne UK, and WA Communications. JC invited those new members to give a brief introduction about themselves.
- Web and social media report
A written report was supplied in advance of the AGM. SA outlined the further improvements to the website that had taken place during the year, particularly the Resources section, and highlighting the Journalists’ Guide
He also reported that the Twitter account has passed the 1700 followers mark, and reminded members of his general policy of tweeting information rather than starting or joining debates. The list of BPC Members has been tweeted so people can follow each Member if they wish.
He asked members to check that the link on the members page of the website links to a suitable landing page for members of the public looking to find poll details.
JT asked if we were going to apply for a blue tick for Twitter. SA said the tick situation is being monitored.
4. President’s report
Report had been distributed to members.
JC gave an introduction to the proposed Rule change at item 6.
He also reported that the work of the Lords Committee has now been completed, and the BPC has done all that was asked of it
He also reported that because of the sudden increase in membership he has started a process of “getting to know you” conversations with each of the newer members.
5. Appointment of the officers
All three Officers were reappointed for a further year.
6. Proposed changes to the Rules
NM proposed, and SA seconded, the following changes to the BPC rules and guidance:
- Amend Rule 1.2 as follows:
- 1.2. Membership of the BPC is open to all organisations that have two or more clients for whom they conduct social or political polls, and that aim to use sampling methods and/or weighting procedures designed to broadly represent the opinions of all people in designated groups. Membership of the BPC does not in any way imply approval by the BPC of any organisation’s methods, and members agree not to make any such claim or otherwise imply the same.
AW raised the issue of whether non-political polls conducted by members fall within BPC’s remit. JC said the Officers would consider the matter and would make suggestions for possible rule changes/clarifications in the next few months.
7. Any Other Business
Focaldata were invited by JC to give members an idea of what they wished to do: their proposal was to produce an interactive dashboard as an alternative to the production of computer tables on their website. The feeling of the meeting was that if this dashboard required people to register, then it was not within the spirit of the transparency rules. However, there was no reason why the company should not introduce a dashboard as an additional facility and the Council would be interested in hearing about experience with its use.
LT raised the issue of international surveys conducted by international partners of members that included a UK component. JC said the Officers would consider this.
LT also raised the issue of member companies conducting government social surveys such as the British Crime Survey. JC reminded members that there had been an instance where BPC rules required tables being made available from a survey conducted by a government department the previous year. NM suggested there was a distinction between opinion surveys conducted by government departments and social surveys like BCS, and the Officers agreed to add this to their increasingly lengthy list of items under consideration.
MB drew members’ attention to the government’s stated intention of replacing the 2031 Census with an exercise driven solely by administrative data, and pointed out the implications for members using small area census data in their work. The results of the MRS survey on this will be released shortly, and MB invited members interested in commenting publicly on this to contact him