Kantar Public has announced that it will launch a new UK Social & Political Attitudes Unit (SPA) in January 2010. This new division will focus on tracking social and political trends and exploring the UK’s ‘democratic deficit’. Drawing upon a wide field of capabilities within its specialist team of researchers, and from a leading global network of political units, SPA aims to penetrate the British mindset to better understand wider social issues and their relationship to voting intentions.

Michelle Harrison, CEO of Kantar Public, comments: “BMRB built its heritage on undertaking reputable social research and opinion polling. Now we have come together with TNS, with its global capabilities in political research we are very well placed to provide this service. The SPA Unit will not only provide an accurate reflection of Britain’s voting behaviours but will support our work in social tracking and as thought leaders in understanding the British citizen.”

In addition, the Unit will pioneer new thinking in multi-mode research in order to ensure that the sampling reaches all parts of society and exploring ‘mode effects’ in polling work. Each month respondents will be interviewed by telephone, in person or online using TNS’ leading Omnibus capabilities. All data collected will be weighted to be nationally representative and will include weighting variables that allow for a politically balanced perspective.

“Voting intention data is one thing, but understanding the context and motivations behind these intentions as well as the political and social landscape, is equally, if not more important, in understanding society. This SPA Unit will be dedicated to offering an accurate, rigorous and unbiased snapshot of the attitudes which are shaping our nation,” explains Harrison.

The SPA team will include Nick Howat and Joel Williams, Head of Methods, both reporting to Harrison, who was commissioned by the BBC in 2007 to develop ‘The Blair Decade’, a television series exploring social change in Britain. Harrison, Howat and Williams have a wealth of experience in public consultation and policy related social research. SPA will deliver its findings to academic partners, public policy professionals and political theorists.

The polls will be released monthly commencing in January.


Kantar Public is a leading provider of specialist social research, offering insight into public policy to government and not-for-profit clients. Delivering a range of approaches including bespoke proprietary research and consultancy, random probability survey capabilities, as well as social marketing and polling, Kantar Public is the largest commercial provider of social research and insight to Whitehall. Kantar Public is part of the TNS group. www.tnsglobal.com

The Kantar Group

The Kantar Group is one of the world’s largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies – including the recently-acquired TNS – the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. www.kantar.com

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Laura Chatterton
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020 7656 5054