MRS Issues Additional Polling Guidelines
The UK's Market Research Society (MRS) has issued two new sets of guidelines following publication of the independent inquiry into discrepancies in opinion polling for the 2015 General Election.
The Society says the action is 'voluntary', and is 'part of its ongoing commitment to high standards across the sector'. Its existing 2014 Code of Conduct (www.mrs.org.uk/pdf/mrs%20code%20of%20conduct%202014.pdf ) already includes 'comprehensive ethical rules' addressing all the issues raised in the inquiry's findings, says the MRS, but the new guidelines should support members in implementing the Inquiry's recommendations.
The Inquiry looked to assess and explain the inaccuracy of the polls, as well as their communication to the public. The new guidelines have been issued for consultation by the MRS Market Research Standards Board (MRSB), and cover age bands within sample frames and advice for non-researchers on how to interpret opinion polls. The MRS says it is also talking to the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) about updating the best practice guidelines previously issued by the two associations in concert with the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations).
CEO Jane Frost says the latest moves are part of the body's 'ongoing commitment to supporting members' professional development and providing them with the tools they need to uphold the highest standards' - and should also provide support for anyone who uses polling results in their work, from policy-makers to journalists.
The Society is online at www.mrs.org.uk , while the Full Report of the inquiry into the 2015 polls is at http://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/3789/1/Report_final_revised.pdf .