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NatCen and JRF launch online panel using random probability survey to recruit participants

~ New panel will focus on views of people on low incomes ~

12 November 2015

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation has commissioned leading attitudinal researchers NatCen Social Research to undertake a regular poll of people on low incomes, as part of JRF’s ongoing work on how to achieve a prosperous and poverty-free UK. NatCen has created a methodologically innovative web and telephone research panel in an effort to better understand the social and political attitudes of people on low incomes, as part of the poll which will mix face-to-face local-led research with online and phone data.

The panel is being designed to maximise methodological rigour (unlike many traditional online panels the sample will be recruited rather than self-selecting) and is part of a feasibility study to poll the views and attitudes of people on low incomes so they are better heard by policy and decision makers.

To ensure the new panel’s representativeness members will be recruited from the random probability survey British Social Attitudes. In addition, web fieldwork will be supplemented by telephone interviews to ensure that those without internet access are able to take part. There will also be qualitative ‘deep dive’ case studies that will explore the topics panel members are asked about in greater depth and to provide an opportunity for the people whose attitudes are being investigated to shape the research.

The initial stages of the project will test approaches to recruitment and securing long-term responses from panel members.

In addition, secondary analysis of the British Social Attitudes and Understanding Society surveys will be carried out to better appreciate the role of income in shaping attitudes compared to other demographic characteristics.

The advisory group for the project includes Dr Matt Barnes - City University, Dr Fran Bennett – University of Oxford, Professor John Curtice - NatCen Social Research and University of Strathclyde, Dr Eldin Fahmy - University of Bristol; Dr Robert Ford – University of Manchester, Kathryn Hill - Loughborough University; Louise Winterburn – Locality.

Fatima Husain, Research Director, NatCen Social Research said: “NatCen are delighted to be helping the Joseph Rowntree Foundation develop a deeper understanding of the attitudes of people on low incomes by applying robust panel survey approaches and case study design to gather data and importantly, to give these groups a voice. The creation of this new panel will allow us to test views and attitudes quickly, and in a methodologically robust way.”

Claire Ainsley, Director of Communications and External Affairs of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “We have commissioned this ground-breaking fieldwork to add to public and political understanding of how people on low incomes view society, politics and economics. We hope that over time it will make a significant contribution to informing public debate and political opinion by allowing the views and experiences of people on lower incomes to be heard.”

- ENDS –


Leigh Marshall 02075498506/07828031850 and and 0207 520 2087

Notes to Editors

JRF is a funder of research for social change in the UK. We aim to reduce poverty and strengthen communities for all generations. For more information visit

At NatCen Social Research we believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people's lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping services that can make a difference to everyone. And as an independent, not for profit organization we're able to focus our time and energy on meeting our clients' needs and delivering social research that works for society. Find out about the work we do by visiting

JRHT provides housing and care services, and demonstrates innovative approaches to both. For more information visit

JRF is on Twitter. Keep up to date with news and comments @jrf_uk. For press releases, blogs and responses follow @jrfmedia.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust are completely separate from the other two Trusts set up by Joseph Rowntree in 1904; the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd (JRRT). More information about each organisation can be found at