November 2023: Engage Britain has now merged with Demos. You can still find all our work from 2019-2023 here, but to get in touch or find out about our new ventures, go to

About Polis

Engage Britain is using a platform called Polis to conduct this exercise.

Polis has been used successfully by organisations from around the world, but this is the first time it’s been used in the UK at a national level. You can read about how other organisations have used Polis in coverage on BBC News.

Polis allows you to share your view on a given issue, and to respond to the views of others by selecting whether you “agree” or “disagree” with them. It deliberately doesn’t allow you to make any additional comments about other people’s ideas, to prevent trolling or other negative behaviours.

Polis is designed to identify the different patterns of opinion which emerge from the many thousands of individual responses. This will enable Engage Britain to identify those issues which are most divisive, but also those which bridge the divides between groups.

Polis is not a conventional survey, in that you can respond to as many or as few answers as you would like. The maths powering Polis will present answers to you in an order designed to give every answer a fair chance of being supported, and to help work out the patterns of agreement and disagreement in the conversation.

Polis also groups people to pull out more prominent patterns within the data. But because not everyone answers every question, the results of the conversation can’t produce point-estimates and measures of statistical significance for any individual answer. For this, we are going to follow up on the conversation with traditional polling.

Moderating answers

We moderate all answers before they appear on the platform for people to ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ with. To ensure the conversation is as wide-ranging as possible, we will try to allow as many comments onto the platform as we can.

These are the guidelines which Engage Britain staff will use to moderate the platform.

To keep the platform safe, we can’t allow: answers which are hateful or abusive or answers which are discriminatory against particular groups or individuals.

To ensure the quality of the platform, we can’t allow: answers which are incomprehensible; answers which do not actively respond to the question posed; answers which repeat statements that have already been submitted; or answers which put forward several ideas at once.

Whether an answer is accepted is entirely at the discretion of Engage Britain.

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