Professor appointed Specialist Advisor to House of Lords

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How opinion polls influence voter behaviour will be examined by a new government committee which will be advised by a University of Southampton Professor.

Patrick Sturgis, Professor of Research Methodology in Social Statistics and Demography, has been appointed Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Political Polling and Digital Media.

The Committee has been appointed to consider the effects of political polling and digital media on politics, and will publish a report with recommendations by 31 March 2018.

It will consider issues such as how the political polls affect political decision-making, voter behaviour in the digital age, and whether a new regulatory framework for polling might be necessary.

The role will draw on Patrick’s position as Director of the National Centre for Research Methods, which has a strong focus on survey and statistical methods.

Patrick said he was honoured to take on the position of Specialist Advisor:

The place of political opinion polls in democracy has long been a contentious issue. Working with the Committee offers a timely opportunity to take a detailed look at how polls are commissioned, conducted and reported on by the media in the digital age, and I very much look forward to the work ahead.

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