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The Freedom to Publish Opinion Poll Results June 15, 2012 Presented by Dr. Robert Chung Director of Public Opinion Programme, The University of Hong Kong
This is the fifth study conducted by WAPOR and the first time executed by Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong. Previous surveys were conducted in 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2002. 49 countries participated in 1984, 55 in 1992, 78 in 1996, 66 in 2002 and 85 in 2012.
Fieldwork period: April 11 to June 12, 2012. 85 countries/regions have participated, covering about 41% of 207 countries in the world according to UN. The main themes of the 2012 survey are: Poll embargo prior to elections Restrictions for conducting exit polls and publication Awareness and conformity to codes or guidelines Evaluation of overall poll quality, problems of conducting polls, etc.
Africa (4) : Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa Asia (27) : Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates Europe (35) : Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom North America (8) : Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, United States South America (8) : Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela Oceania (3) : Australia, Fiji, New Zealand * Countries that participated in the 2002 survey are marked in red color.
I. Poll Restrictions
Valid base = 83 Mean = 7 days (among 36 countries/regions with blackout periods) More than half of the countries/regions have NO blackout periods prior to elections.
26 countries/regions had no poll embargo in both 2002 and 2012 Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
Change (no. of days) Countries/regionsChange (no. of days) Countries/regions -14Slovakia+1Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Norway -10Switzerland+2Brazil -7Bulgaria, Slovenia+5Costa Rica, Romania, Russia, Venezuela -5Uruguay+6Colombia -4Czech. Republic, Mexico+10Taiwan -2South Korea+14Argentina France, Israel, Nepal+15Ukraine 0Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey +45Honduras 34 countries/regions had poll embargo in both 2002 and 2012
Nearly 90% of the poll restrictions were initiated by Government agency or election administration office. Valid base = 38 * changes with 2002 survey
Valid base = 84 74% of the countries/regions expected to have no change in the rules regarding polls in the next 3-5 years.
58% of the countries/regions have to disclose geographical coverage and dates of interview as a means of code/self regulation. Valid base = 85 * Multiple answers allowed
II. Exit Polls
43% of the countries/regions cannot conduct exit polls inside the polling station. Valid base = 82 * Multiple answers allowed
Countries where exit polls are permitted Cannot be conducted inside the polling station Cannot be conducted outside close to the polling station No restriction but exit polls have not been conducted to date No restriction and some exit polls have been conducted to date Don’t know Africa (N=4) 10120 Asia (N=27) 810561 Europe (N=35) 1932142 N. America (N=8) 31020 S. America (N=8) 23120 Oceania (N=3) 21100 Total (N=82) 351810263 35 out of 75 countries/regions which can conduct exit polls have restrictions that exit polls cannot be conducted inside the polling station Valid base = 75 * Multiple answers allowed
49% of the countries/regions who conduct exit poll have legal restrictions that exit polls cannot be published before all polls in the country close. Valid base = 78 * Multiple answers allowed
III. Other Polling Restrictions
Valid base = 85 12 countries/regions (14%) have such restrictions. They are Chile, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Nepal, Qatar, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.
IV. Codes and Practices
75% are aware of WAPOR Code of Ethics. Valid base = 85
About 76% have read the WAPOR/ESOMAR codes and practices. Valid base = 85
Percentage Yes, generally45% No, a few polls conform at least fairly well 32% No poll conforms4% Don’t know20% 45% conform generally to the respective codes and practices. Percentage Yes, generally19% No, but a few polls conform to other codes 4% No other code40% Don’t know38% Valid base = 85 Valid base = 80 19% conform to other codes as well.
45% of the countries/regions conduct polls mainly in person. Valid base = 84
52% said their governments conduct polls on policy making issues. Valid base = 84
48% said their academics or general public can easily access poll results conducted by government. Valid base = 60
V. Quality of Polls
18% said their polls conducted in their country are of generally high quality. Valid base = 60
19% think that the publication of unprofessional or unscientific poll findings not a problem. Valid base = 59
67% think that unsatisfactory samples is the major problem in conducting polls. Valid base = 58 * Multiple answers allowed
43% think that the journalistic handling by their country’s mass media is of low general quality level. Valid base = 58 * changes with 2002 survey
46% countries has some kind of “blackout periods” for pre-election polls election polls, this calls for attention. 74% expected no change in next 3-5 years 21% either forbid exit poll or never conducted any 14% forbid specific questions or subjects in general polls 18% considered polls conducted in their country to be of high quality 43% considered the journalistic handling of polls by their country’s mass media to be of low quality
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