Electoral Commission Guidance for candidates and agents says: ‘During the campaign, you must not…pay canvassers. Canvassing means trying to persuade an elector to vote for or against a particular candidate or party’
One Fake Tory survey carried out during the election stated:
‘… It was reported in the Daily Mirror in September last year that Jeremy Corbyn is not concerned about the numbers of people coming to live in the UK and it was reported on Sky News this year that Theresa May has restated her pledge to reduce net Migration.
‘Just thinking about these reports in the media and the reports that you live in a marginal constituency that may determine who is prime minister… Does that make you more likely to back Theresa May or more likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn?’
While genuine market research is permitted, marketing calls to TPS numbers on behalf of political parties are prohibited by EU regulations and the Data Protection Act, unless the person called has specifically given the organisation their consent.
A spokesperson for the ICO:
‘The Information Commissioner reminded campaigners from political parties of their obligations around direct marketing at the beginning of the election campaign. Where we find they haven’t followed the law we will act.’
Anya Proops QC, a leading barrister in the field of data protection said:
‘If you’ve got a situation where the company that’s calling you is concealing their true identity or is misleading the person who is receiving the call, then that is obviously a problem under the privacy legislation.’
The head of Blue Telecoms, Sascha Lopez:
“questions about Axe Research should be put to the Conservative Party.”
An Axe Research employee said:
“IT’S JUST THE NAME WE DO THESE SURVEYS UNDER, BASICALLY. I DID A GOOGLE SEARCH, NOTHING COMES UP. BUT AS FAR AS ANYONE’S CONCERNED, YEAH, WE’RE A LEGIT INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH COMPANY.”