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Zeebrugge was right - an exit poll thread is technically illegal

16 replies

EightiesButNotThatcheriteChick · 06/05/2010 11:34

I'd just added the following post to that thread, which has now been removed, I see -

Unfortunately I think zeebrugge might have a point. Even reporting votes without any identifying information about the voters could be construed as publishing the information. Wasn't that basically what happened with Kerry McCarthy's Twitter posts, and she's now being prosecuted? Story here

Perhaps someone can start another thread at 10pm? I will certainly come back and post then.

OP posts:
crystal123 · 06/05/2010 11:40

You are right, PPCs at the count can't ring mates and tell them about the results, also,
the PPCs can be present at postal vote openings and I think cannot talk about the results.

Greensleeves · 06/05/2010 11:41

sorry guys

I honestly didn't know, hopefully it was pulled quickly enough to avoid causing a problem to MN

justaboutkeepingoutthetories · 06/05/2010 11:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

SoupDragon · 06/05/2010 11:44

I had no idea either. When do they start talking about "Exit polls show..." on the news then?

toccatanfudge · 06/05/2010 11:46

I didn't know that either - according to this page they publish them at once the polls have closed

prettybird · 06/05/2010 11:47

Could someone set up a "Survey Monkey" via a thread from Mumsnet and only post the results after 10pm?

ladylush · 06/05/2010 11:50

Was worried about this - asked for my post to be deleted. Glad it was pulled quite quickly.

OhYouBadBadKitten · 06/05/2010 11:52

would have thought that would be ok prettybird as the bbc clearly must ask people before 10pm.

Jac44 · 06/05/2010 11:57

Unlike in the US where voters in California actually know the results from the east coast while they are still voting, in the UK the exit polls will not be published until the stroke of 10pm. Then I'm not sure how acurate they will be. They got it spectacularly wrong in 1992 confidently predicting at 10pm that Neil Kinnock had won. This year it will be more difficult with different swings to different parties in different constirtuencies making it very difficult to call unmtil the votes are actually counted.

EightiesButNotThatcheriteChick · 06/05/2010 12:00

To be honest, Greensleeves, I had posted myself and hadn't thought anything of it until I saw Zeebrugge's post and remembered the Twitter business. It's easy enough to do.

I do wonder how this works more generally online - many people on the Guardian threads are posting how they've voted. But I guess that that's done as part of a general discussion. Labelling the thread 'Exit Poll' is probably a no-no. The SurveyMonkey approach might be a good alternative though.

Also, I've posted on here:
and after doing so I got shown all the results they have so far for my constituency (only mine, so it wasn't actually very informative) but I wonder how legal that is too.

OP posts:
zebrugge · 06/05/2010 16:10

Sorry for spoiling the fun Greensleeves It's a shame, as it's obviously interesting to find out how everyone voted, but it's designed to prevent anyone from being influenced about how to vote, based on how others have already voted.

I've bookmarked this thread to show to my DW, as it's finally proof that I was, for one brief shining moment, actually right about something

ChallengingCitrusHalibut · 06/05/2010 16:19

Greensleeves, were you reporting the results of postal vote counts or just saying who you had voted for/asking others who they had voted for?

The problem with the Twitter thing is that she was reporting on actual postal vote counts. It is illegal to report on results before the polls close.

I haven't seen this happening here. It's not illegal to say 'I live in constituency X and voted for party A' as 1) we're anonymous so the ballot remains secret and 2) it does not give any indication whatsoever as to how party A or B or whatever are doing in constituency X, whereas the Twitter thing was doing that.

Greensleeves · 06/05/2010 16:28

No I was just asking people to post what they voted, not naming constituencies or voters or anything

but it was deleted really quickly once reported, so presumably it IS illegal

ChallengingCitrusHalibut · 06/05/2010 16:40

Think MN were maybe just covering themselves, don't know. There are hundreds of forums doing this all over the net without question. It is totally different to the Twitter thing so that's irrelevant.

AbsOfCroissant · 06/05/2010 16:49

OR, MNHQ was a bit panicky

Greensleeves · 06/05/2010 16:50

can't blame them for wanting to err on the side of caution though

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