Regulation of Political Opinion Polling Bill (HC Bill 148)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for the regulation of political opinion polling in the United
Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 The Political Opinion Polling Regulation Authority

(1) The Secretary of State must, after consulting the leaders of all political parties
represented in the House of Commons, establish by regulations a Political
Opinion Polling Regulation Authority (the “Authority”) within 1 year of the
5passing of this Act.

(2) The Authority shall have responsibility for the making of rules for political
opinion polling in the United Kingdom, including but not limited to—

(a) specifying approved sampling methods;

(b) producing guidance on the wording of questions to be put to the public
10in a political opinion poll;

(c) arrangements for the publication of polls including whether such
publication should be allowed in such a period that the Authority
considers appropriate before the election or referendum to which they
refer.

(3) 15The regulations must make provision about the constitution of the Authority
and in particular must provide that its management board consists of
representatives of—

(a) polling organisations nominated by the British Polling Council,

(b) political parties, and

(c) 20the media.

(4) The Authority must—

(a) publish rules within 6 months of its establishment,

(b) consider at least annually whether amendments to the rules are
required, and

Regulation of Political Opinion Polling BillPage 2

(c) publish any amendments to the rules together with explanatory notes,
whenever they consider it appropriate.

(5) The Secretary of State shall lay a statutory instrument containing the rules or
amendments to the rules, as and when they are published, before each House
5of Parliament, which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution
of either House of Parliament.

(6) The Secretary of State shall pay in respect of the Authority any expenses,
remuneration and allowances that the Secretary of State may determine.

(7) Regulations under this section shall be made by a statutory instrument, which
10shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and
approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(8) For the purposes of this Act, “political opinion polling” means the undertaking
and publishing of any poll, survey or inquiry designed to measure the public’s
intentions with regard to voting in—

(a) 15any local authority elections,

(b) any elections to the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly
or the National Assembly for Wales,

(c) any elections to Parliament, and

(d) any referendum held within the United Kingdom.

2 20Enforcement

A person who undertakes political opinion polling in breach of any rules made
under section 1 shall be liable to a penalty of an amount specified under the
regulations made under that section.

3 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) 25This Act applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Regulation of Political Opinion Polling Act 2016.

(4) Nothing in this Act shall impose any charge on the people or on public funds,
or vary the amount or incidence of or otherwise alter any such charge in any
30manner, or affect the assessment, levying, administration or application of any
money raised by any such charge.