Labour politicians are attempting to capitalise on an inquiry into pollsters’ disastrous efforts to forecast the outcome of the 2015 general election by pushing for restrictions on the industry.
Lord Foulkes, a former Labour minister, told BuzzFeed News he is lining up backbench Labour MPs to introduce a law to the House of Commons that would establish a legal regulator for political opinion polls.
“It’s pretty certain and I should know [which MPs will back it] within a couple of days,” Foulkes said. “The main thing is to use today’s information as an impetus, and I think it’ll help its passage.”
The peer was mocked when he first proposed such a law following concerns about the impact of opinion polling during Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum. But doubts about the reliability of political opinion polls have been exacerbated by a general election campaign in which the media and the public wrongly believed the country was heading for a coalition government because Labour and the Conservatives were neck-and-neck in the polls.
The peer’s proposed law has already passed several stages in the House of Lords and he is confident the private member’s bill will be fully approved when it receives its third reading on Tuesday afternoon.