GOVERNMENT SEEKS BAN ON OPINION POLLS; Surveys Affect Elections Claim TDs
Brophy, Karl, The Mirror (London, England)
THE GOVERNMENT is set to ban General Election opinion polls.
Proposals to be brought before the cabinet later this year will outlaw the publishing of polls in the days before voting.
The move follows criticism by politicians who feel that last minute polls have affected many recent results.
Now Environment Minister Noel Dempsey is to investigate a change in the law which would make it illegal to publish an opinion poll in the ten days before an election.
Last summer the Rainbow Coalition parties lashed out at polls which appeared the week before the General Election.
"It is well known in political circles that polls tend to fulfill themselves," said a senior opposition politician yesterday.
"The same way football teams become more popular when they're doing well, people will follow trends.
"Nobody wants to back a loser and if the electorate sees a trend one way they lean towards that way. It's human instinct.
"Polls which are published, as opposed to private ones, also become the news themselves, rather than the result of news. …