AMSRO Polling Inquiry 2019

Terms of Reference

The draft Terms of Reference

  1. To assess the accuracy of the published opinion polls (both national and sub-national) at the 2019 Australian federal election.
  2. To evaluate whether any substantial inaccuracies identified might be part of a pattern evident at any previous elections, or during polling since the last (2016) election.
  3. To investigate the causes of any inaccuracies that are identified. Potential causes to be considered will include (but not necessarily be limited to): the possible impact of late changes in voter preferences, the extent to which sample frames (sample sources) provided adequate population coverage, sampling methods, the impact of robo-polling, interview methods, data weighting or other data adjustments undertaken, differential availability and willingness to participate, question order and question wording and data item refusal.
  4. To assess whether the analysis or reporting of polls might have been influenced by a reluctance to be out of line with the published figures of other polls.
  5. To consult and seek relevant evidence and insights from polling organisations on the current conduct of polling practices in Australia, including the environment within which polls operate, and suggestions for if and how polling practices could be improved.
  6. To consult and seek evidence from all other relevant stakeholders, including but not exclusively, other polling experts, and those who commission, publish and report on the polls.
  7. To assess whether adequate information was communicated to, and communicated by, media organisations, commentators and other interested parties to inform the public about how polls were conducted and what their results meant.
  8. To make, as it sees fit, recommendations for improving how opinion polls are conducted and how their results are conveyed to the general public.
  9. To submit a preliminary report to AMSRO as soon as practicable, with a view to publication of a final report by AMSRO as soon as possible thereafter.

AMSRO’s Role

  1. Appoint the Inquiry Panel and Advisory Board; Determine Terms of Reference following feedback from the Advisory Board and Inquiry Panel, and other relevant stakeholders.
  2. Encourage, promote and support the work of the review – provide (non-binding) comments on reporting, provide additional resources from AMSRO member companies as requested by Inquiry Panel, reimburse travel and other reasonable expenses incurred)
  3. Once the Inquiry Panel provides their final report – to publish, promote and support the final report and its recommendations. 
  4. To field media queries during the Inquiry process and after the release of the report – so that the Inquiry Panel may conduct its work with a minimum of distraction.