News Corp vows to ‘work with polling partners’ after election result backlash

News Corp Australia has said it will stand by its polling partner, Newspoll, and look to fix the polling system, rather than following its major competitor’s move to downgrade its relationship with its survey partner.

The comments come in response to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age editor Tory Maguire announcing in a column today that the titles had ‘pressed pause’ on their relationship with pollster Ipsos.

In a statement to Mumbrella, group executive – corporate affairs, policy and government relations for News Corp Australia, Foxtel and Fox Sports, Campbell Reid, said the media business’ relationship with Newspoll was too strong to cast aside.

“News Corp Australia has a strong relationship with Newspoll which has been accurately taking the pulse of the Australian electorates for a long and unbroken period of time,” said Reid.

“One of the issues with Saturday’s election was a hardwired expectation across the country that a government that deposed two of its own prime ministers could not possibly win. In the face of that expectation polls were definitely showing the gap was closing in the Coalition’s favour and polling in individual seats was showing extremely close results.

“It is true the polls were still interpreted on election day predicting an ALP win, but to simply declare “the polls got it wrong” is simplistic. We would rather work with our polling partners to continue to improve rather than throw up our hands,” said Reid.

Newspoll was founded in 1985 as a joint venture between News Limited and Yann Campbell Hoare Wheeler. It was part owned by News Corp until 2015 and derives its research from YouGov, a British polling company that acquired Australian pollster Galaxy Research in 2017.

News Corp reports that until the 2019 election, Newspoll had accurately reported the winner of every Australian state and federal election since its inception in 1985. Prior to the election, from May 9-12, Newspoll was reporting a 51-49 Labor lead for the election.

Earlier this week, the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) announced it would be conducting a review of political polling methods in Australia.

“As the election results started to roll in on Saturday night, a lot of Australians would have been asking the question ‘How could all of the polling companies call the Federal Election result incorrectly?’” said Craig Young, AMSRO president.

“Political polling has an important place in Australian society and the reality is that it is not going away. So it is important that polling companies take this opportunity to improve their collective accuracy, because nowadays accurate polling underpins the operation of a modern well-functioning democracy.

“It’s also important for the credibility of the polling companies, as well as the wider market research industry, that the public has confidence in the results of the major polls. The results are taken seriously by political parties and the general public, so as an industry we need to get it right,” said Young.

Ipsos is currently the only polling company that is a member of AMSRO. The pollster has said it is fully cooperating with the association’s review.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.