"The polling industry needs to get its house in order. Otherwise the case for banning polling in the run-up to elections – one we for now reject – will become stronger. We heard compelling evidence that polls influence the narrative around elections and thus go to the root of our democratic debate. This makes it vital they are conducted properly and held to the highest standards of accuracy.
"We want the British Polling Council to take a more proactive role in how it regulates polling and influences the reporting of polls. Too often minor changes in the main parties' standing, often within the margin of error, are reported by a breathless media as indicating a real change in the real world, and even as indicating which party might end up forming the Government. The BPC needs to step up to the plate. It should do more and raise concerns with IPSO, IMPRESS or Ofcom where there is significant misreporting of poll results.
"Voters have a right to know who paid for polls. The Electoral Commission should have a role in monitoring all voting intention polls published during an election campaign, and publishing their funding sources.
"On the impact of digital media on politics, while much of our evidence came before the current row with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, it was clear to us that some activity on digital media poses a significant risk to politics and democracy in the UK. More needs to be done to better understand that threat and educate the population to spot 'fake news' and baseless propaganda online.
"One concrete step that the Government can take now is to require all online campaign communications to carry an imprint to say who published it, as is the case for the printed material, and give the Electoral Commission the power to police and enforce that rule.
"Taken together, a lack of transparency and sometimes inaccurate polls, and the murky world of online political communications, pose an insidious threat to our political system. While we may be one of the oldest democracies in the world we must face up to these very contemporary dangers. Government, parliament and the polling industry must act now, before the damage goes deeper."