Telephone Canvassing, Polling or Surveys

The Electoral Commission reminds all candidates, party secretaries and third party promoters that:

  1. Canvassing, or a survey or poll that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote a particular way (such as a push-poll) may be an election advertisement under the Electoral Act 1993.
  2. The conduct of canvassing or a survey or poll via telephone may be publishing under the Electoral Act 1993.  However, the definition of publish expressly excludes addressing one or more persons face to face.  This means face to face canvassing activities are exempt from the requirement for a promoter statement.

Any promoter who publishes, or causes or permits to be published, an election advertisement must ensure that it contains the required promoter statement. Failure to ensure that an election advertisement contains a promoter statement may constitute an offence.

Therefore we urge all promoters to take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • Consideration is given to whether or not any proposed canvassing, survey, or  poll may be an election advertisement; and
  • Promoters undertaking canvassing, surveys and opinion polls that may be election advertisements are authorised to do so in accordance with the Electoral Act 1993. A promoter is only entitled to publish an election advertisement that promotes a party with the written authorisation of the party secretary.  A promoter other than the candidate is only entitled to publish an election advertisement that promotes a candidate with the written authorisation of the candidate.
  • A promoter statement is included within the canvassing, survey or poll.
Last updated: 27 November 2012