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Merger Set to Bring Canada's Pollsters Back into Fold

October 24 2016

Canada's research associations are negotiating a merger. Recently formed CAPOR, which focuses on public opinion and issue polling, is set to join with the broader-based MRIA, whose Code of Conduct changes in the Spring were the trigger for the talks.

One association for Canada again?CAPOR (the Canadian Association for Public Opinion Research) was announced in June 2015, with the aim of 'bringing greater professionalism, transparency and accountability' to public opinion and issues researchers. It combined pollsters, journalists and academics, all looking to ensure published polls were 'conducted and reported in a transparent and responsible way'.

Working to address the distinct concerns of this group, the MRIA approved an update to the polling section of its Code of Conduct in April this year, based on ESOMAR/WAPOR and AAPOR Guidelines, and building in specifically Canadian feedback and legislative requirements. The new standards require greater disclosure of sample sizes, polling methods and weighting: including the number of call-backs after an initial non-response, the proportion of undecideds and explanations of any major differences between polls.

Following this, leaders of the two bodies met over the summer and 'begun negotiations to merge and truly speak with one voice', according to a statement by MRIA Board of Directors Chair Mark Wood. CAPOR President Darrell Bricker, who is CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, says after the change in MRIA standards the merger made sense as a way of giving the profession and processes more exposure.

Once details are worked out, members will vote on the proposals by the late spring of 2017.

The merger news follows an announcement in the US a month ago, that CASRO and the MRA will ask members to vote on their proposal to join forces and form a new Insights Association, with a Board chaired by Cambiar's Simon Chadwick.

The MRIA, itself formed by the merger of three previous industry associations in 2004, is online at www.mria.ca , while CAPOR is at www.capor.org .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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