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Why is ICM witholding its polling data?

August 14th, 2005

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    Politicalbetting to complain to British Polling Council

Politicalbetting is making a formal complaint to the British Polling Council over the failure of ICM to make data available in line with its obligations under the Council’s “Statement of Disclosure”.

The complaints relates to the Guardian’s July poll which was published nearly four weeks ago and for which the full data has yet to be published even though we requested it in writing and indeed initially raised the non-disclosure here on the site on August 2nd.

Under the BPC’s rules a pollster is required to …. place the following information on its own web site within 2 working days of the data being published or provide the information to any interested party on request…
* A full description of the sampling procedures adopted by the organisation;
* Computer tables showing the exact questions asked in the order they were asked, all response codes and the weighted and unweighted bases for all demographics and other data that has been published;
* A description of the weighting procedures employed including weighted and unweighted figures for all variables (demographic or otherwise) used to weight the data, whether or not such breakdowns appear in any analysis of sub samples

For the July poll just five pages of a PDF file are available online and it is clear from the pagination that a lot has been left out. The five published pages start at at page 7 and end at page 15. What’s available does not include the required “weighted and unweighted figures for all variables”.

We would have sent our complaint to the Secretary of the BPC – but he is Nick Sparrow, Managing Director of ICM and the person who has yet to reply to our written request dated July 25th 2005.

According to a Guardian report when the BPC was established in November 2004 the President, the former boss of NOP John Barter, will refer complaints to a three person panel. It will be interesting to see how this process operates.

Mike Smithson






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