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News Releases and Media Advisories

Opinion Polls Must Comply with Election Law

Rules Governing Publishing Poll Results Set Out in Canada Elections Act

OTTAWA, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

  • The publication of opinion polls during the 41st general election is regulated by sections 326 to 328 of the Canada Elections Act.

  • The first person or media outlet to release the results must indicate:

    • who sponsored the survey (for example, the news organization or political party that paid for the poll)

    • who conducted the poll

    • when the poll was conducted

    • the population from which the survey was drawn

    • how many persons were contacted

    • the survey’s margin of error

    • if the survey was not conducted using recognized statistical methods

  • Print and Internet publishers must include the wording of the survey questions and instructions on how readers can obtain the written report.

  • The survey sponsor must make the written report available on request, at a cost of no more than $0.25 per page.

  • Any media outlet that broadcasts or publishes survey results within 24 hours of initial publication must provide the same information.

  • No new opinion survey results may be published on election day before polling stations close.

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