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The Grand Tradition
24 February 2004
Peter Snow, perhaps Britain's keenest poll watcher — and his super wife, CBC Bureau Chief Ann McMillan — were at the American Ambassador's President's Day reception last month. He wanted to know what in the world has happened to the polling fraternity and was MORI going to restart (sic) our regular series of monthly poll reports again now that we have an election looming (15 months and counting). I was surprised he's not hardwired to our website (although he says he is), and reminded him that our monthly poll record is still unbroken since it began in 1979, nearly 25 years ago and is there for all to see.
Lies, Damned Lies And Opinion Polls
25 October 2003
What's one to do? Polls are being dumbed down daily, and no matter how hard I try, the polls' equivalent of Gresham's Law seems destined to drive out quality, to the detriment of the proper use of polls to support advocacy, illuminate debate, control demagoguery, and inform people what others are thinking.
Elections Yet To Come
29 August 2003
At the end of last month, the Electoral Commission published "The Shape of Elections to Come", its strategic evaluation report on the experimental methods of voting used in this year's local elections. An important part of the evaluation which fed into the Commission's report was a programme of public opinion research, conducted by MORI, including both quantitative surveys and qualitative research (focus groups).
How High Is Up?
1 August 2003
There were two psychologists who met on the street and passed a few words. 'How's your wife?', asked one. 'Compared to what?' queried the other, illustrating the point that images can't be compared in a vacuum.
Votes At 16?
18 July 2003
This week, the Electoral Commission announced that it was beginning consultations on whether the minimum voting age in Britain should be reduced. By coincidence, this week also saw the release of a MORI survey for Nestlé UK (published as the Nestlé Family Monitor Number 16: Young People's Attitudes Towards Politics): this survey of school pupils aged 11-18 in England and Wales included questions both on attitudes to reducing the voting age and on how young people would vote if they were old enough. Sam Younger (the Chairman of the Electoral Commission) and Yvette Cooper MP (the minister responsible for electoral arrangements) were among the speakers at a Smith Institute Seminar at 11 Downing Street where the report was launched. The findings will, we hope, help to inform the debate.
Changing Values (2): Work & Leisure
2 July 2003
Some further comparisons of British attitudes half-a-century ago, around the time of the coronation, with the way we think today, this time concentrating on work and leisure. (As before, for the 1950s we are heavily reliant on surveys from Gallup, the only pollster then publishing regular public opinion surveys, the findings of which survive in book form - George H Gallup, The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, New York: Random House, 1976, and Anthony King and Robert Wybrow, British Political Opinion 1937-2000: The Gallup Polls, London: Politico's, 2001.)
Trust In Business
28 June 2003
Eight people in ten disagree that "Directors of large companies can be trusted to tell the truth", according to the MORI poll conducted for the Financial Times last week.