CONSULTATION | New guidance for journalists reporting on opinion polls from MRS and IMPRESS

With a general election five weeks away, IMPRESS, the UK’s independent press regulator, and MRS (Market Research Society) launch a consultation on guidance for journalists reporting on opinion polls.



At a launch event today, Chairman of the Select Committee on Political Polling and Digital Media behind “The politics of polling” report, Baron Lipsey will chair a roundtable of industry insiders to discuss the key challenges of reporting on elections and accurately writing about surveys and polls.  Participants will include:

  • Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI
  • Sir John Curtice, Senior Research Fellow at NatCen Social Research
  • Cordelia Hay, Associate Partner at Britain Thinks
  • Simon Perry, Director, On the Wight
  • Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications University of Westminster

The draft guidance – Using surveys and polling data in your journalism – can be downloaded both from the MRS website and the IMPRESS website. IMPRESS and MRS are inviting responses to the consultation and feedback on the document until 20 November using the online form.

Jane Frost CBE, Chief Executive of MRS, comments: “With a general election just around the corner and the possibility of another referendum beyond that, political polling has been thrown into the spotlight once again as people search for assurances and try to gauge voter sentiment.  We encourage all journalists to use this draft guidance to support their reporting in the coming weeks, to help them understand research issued by polling companies and ensure that they are reflecting the findings accurately in their reporting.  Let us know how it is helpful as well as where it can be improved – there can be no better time to put it to the test.”

Ed Procter, Chief Operating Officer at IMPRESS, comments: "High-quality public interest journalism is a cornerstone of a healthy functioning democracy, particularly around election time when the public needs accountable and accurate information to navigate political messaging and misinformation. We know journalists want to report responsibly, so our hope is that this guidance will be a useful resource to them and helps to improve reporting on complex issues such as research and polling. We also want to hear from journalists, experts and members of the public and understand how this guidance can be enhanced, which is why we have opened it up to public consultation.”

About MRS

  • The UK is the world’s second largest research market.
  • With members in more than 60 countries, MRS is the world’s leading research association. 
  • It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, support services, client-side organisations, the public sector and the academic community.
  • MRS represents 80% of research agencies who commit to, and are regulated by, the MRS Code of Conduct to ensure professional and ethical research of the highest standard of excellence. 
  • In 2013 MRS launched the Fair Data trust mark that demonstrates which organisations handle their customers’ personal data fairly. 
  • MRS is the global leader in research qualifications and training.
  • Intelligence Capital™ is a trademark of the Market Research Society
  • The MRS Senior Client Council was established to provide collective and coherent senior client leadership to support MRS.  It includes representatives from Pepsico, Diageo, Google, Samsung and Barclays and is chaired by Stan Sthanunathan, executive vice president of consumer & market insights at Unilever.


For further information, please contact:

Emma Molton / Harriet Crosby


+44 (0)20 7636 7366 / 



IMPRESS regulates over 130 publications from across the UK. It provide publishers and journalists with the protection and support they need to do their job. They offer complaints adjudication, free arbitration, a comprehensive insurance scheme and a progressive Standards Code, as well as an open code review process in which all members of the public can take part. IMPRESS works in partnership with the public, publishers and key stakeholders to raise the standards of journalism.



Media enquiries

Clara Aguirre: / 020 3325 4290