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BBC and ITV sign NOP and Mori for first joint exit poll

LONDON - BBC and ITV News have commissioned NOP and Mori to do a joint exit poll for the next general election to minimise the risk of calling the wrong result.

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NOP and Mori have extensive experience in exit polls. NOP has partnered the BBC since the 1992 general election and Mori has worked with ITV News for the last two general elections.

The exit poll fieldwork will take place on election day at a number of carefully selected polling stations throughout the country where voters will be asked how they voted.

The data will be analysed by a joint BBC and ITV team of political specialists to produce an estimate of the election result, which will be revealed by the broadcasters' election results programmes once the polls have closed at 10pm.

Craig Oliver, assistant editor of ITV News, said: "In sharing this exit poll we have bought together Professor Colin Rallings and Professor John Curtice, Britain's foremost election analysts. No one is better qualified to ensure we get an accurate picture of how the country has voted."

A previous BBC plan to commission a joint exit poll at the 2001 election was rejected by ITV.

The 2005 general election is expected to take place in May, with Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair tipped for re-election with another landslide majority, marking a third historic term for Labour.

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