October 2017 Dinner Meeting

Previous Event
Date: Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Venue: The Grand Ballroom, Novotel Wollongong NorthBeach
Speaker: Martin O'Shannessy - Partner, OmniPoll

Why the US Polls failed, and can we trust the Australian Polls?

Martin O’Shannessy grew up in Wollongong and attended UOW.

He began his career as a commercial cadet at AIS Collieries and later worked as an advisor for Lord Mayor and Member for Wollongong, Frank Arkell.

Between 2005 and 2015, as CEO for Newspoll, he was Australia’s highest profile opinion pollster and has a 100% record estimating state and federal election outcomes at IRIS Research and at Newspoll and have surveyed over 2 million Australians.

In the last 25 years, he has advised Australian firms, associations and governments in hundreds of studies for Newspoll and IRIS Research. His management experience includes six years as Manager Research and Regulatory Affairs at AANA 1988-1994, CEO IRIS Research and Newspoll 1994- 2014 and Chairman of Research Industry employer body AMSRO. 

Some career highlights include:

  • 11 years as a director of The Illawarra Connection
  • Socio-economic study that led to construction of the Sea Cliff Bridge
  • Lead social researcher assisting the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
  • Marginal seat study for GMH and Auto makers that led to reinstatement of Automotive Adjustment Scheme in 2015
  • Background research supporting the case for adoption of NDIS as ALP Policy
  • Public opinion research for Catholic Church prior to recent Royal Commission
  • Public opinion research behind anti Mining Tax campaign
  • Public opinion research behind container deposit in NT
  • Campaign research (for GetUp!) that led to freeing of David Hicks
  • Only pollster to call the Greens in the 2002 Cunningham by-election

With the closure of Newspoll, Martin was one three founding partners of OmniPoll which was created to fill the gap, and to keep asking the right people the right questions, in the right way.

With recent political events in the United States proving that polls are not invulnerable to failure, Martin will discuss the implications for Australian polls.