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Southampton academic to head polling inquiry

Published: 18 May 2015
Professor Patrick Sturgis
Patrick is Chair of the Inquiry.

Patrick Sturgis, Professor of Research Methodology in Social Statistics and Demography at the University of Southampton, has been announced as Chair of an inquiry set up to examine errors in the pre-election opinion polls for the 2015 General Election campaign.

Patrick Sturgis, Professor of Research Methodology in Social Statistics and Demography at Southampton, has been announced as Chair of an inquiry set up to examine errors in the pre-election opinion polls for the 2015 General Election campaign.

Professor Sturgis is Director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) at the University and President of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA).

The final opinion polls before the election were not as accurate as expected, with all pollsters underestimating the Conservative lead over Labour. In response, the British Polling Council, supported by the Market Research Society, has established an independent inquiry to look into the possible causes of the errors. The inquiry will also make recommendations for future polling.

Professor Sturgis will chair and take the leading role in setting the inquiry’s terms of reference. He comments: “Pre-election polls play a key role in setting the news agenda leading up to elections and influence individual voting decisions. It is therefore essential that we understand what went wrong in 2015 in order that public and press confidence is restored in their accuracy and robustness.”

 

 

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