ACT Election Polling Ethics?

AG Canberra 22 September 2008 12

I recieved a call from a market research company on Friday night asking if I would answer some questions about ACT political parties and the upcoming election. “Sure, happy to participate in the process….” I said.

10 minutes later the poll concluded and I asked “Can you tell me who is conducting this research?”

“Ah no…we don’t have that information here”

After a further 5 minutes of discussion I managed to elicit the market research company name. They said that they only had to provide their name – no other info needed to be provided to callers.

Pi$$ed off with the lack of info I did some digging:

The company being used is not a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (the industry professional body).

They are based in Adelaide (what’s wrong with Canberra political parties using Canberra market researchers?)

The whole thing reeked of cheapness and dodgyness.

After reading the AMSRS site it’s clear these guys broke almost every code of practise listed.

Anyone know of any legislation or body that regulates this type of thing – especially in an election?

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12 Responses to ACT Election Polling Ethics?
AG Canberra AG Canberra 1:11 pm 23 Sep 08

OK – they (surprise surprise) didn’t call back yesterday so here is the info

Adelaide based Best National Market Research.

They refused to provide any other info – postal address, phone number, website, name of Manager.

I reckon the local market research companies would have liked an opportunity to do this work – or do our current of future leaders have an aversion to spending money in the community they purport to support?

caf caf 9:21 am 23 Sep 08

I don’t see why you’re being so coy. You don’t owe them a thing, and the name of the polling company that’s doing pre-election polling is certainly in the public interest.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:46 am 23 Sep 08

Okay…it’s the next day AG – spill the beans 🙂

Davo111 Davo111 5:33 pm 22 Sep 08

ooo name and shame! *picks up pitchfork!*

AG Canberra AG Canberra 10:54 am 22 Sep 08


tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 10:48 am 22 Sep 08

Is it a two worded name of the company – letter of the first word starting with S?

AG Canberra AG Canberra 10:33 am 22 Sep 08

They said they would get “the boss” to call me today. Apparently he was unavailable on Friday night.

We’ll see if this occurs – if not – their name in all its glory will be posted here tomorrow…

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 10:29 am 22 Sep 08

Whats the name of the research company BTW AG Canberra? Can you at least provide the initials of the company?

AG Canberra AG Canberra 10:10 am 22 Sep 08

Nope – no bias if you provide the client name at the end of the survey.

And no – it wasn’t either of those two companies.

The issue of self regulation is great if the company is a mamber of the professional body.

Why would a party risk useless data by using a dodgy poll company?

jimbocool jimbocool 10:07 am 22 Sep 08

I think the industry is ‘self-regulating’ so there would be no legal requirement to identify who the polling is on behalf of. In political polling there may well be a statistical argument against identifying who the party the polling is for as it may bias the sample. Nonetheless the major parties should be AMSRS pollsters. The only Adelaide based ones I can think of are Sextons who do the legwork for Textor/Crosby who are the Liberals’ pollsters of choice.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 9:57 am 22 Sep 08

They were borderline push polling – nothing overly negative…

There were mentions of policies from both major parties so it wasn’t easily worked out who was conducting it – hence my question to the company.

jakez jakez 9:50 am 22 Sep 08

So were they push polling or just dodgy in their set up?

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