FCA has given guidance on how MAR might apply to information gained from electoral polling, and how firms should handle any information that might be inside information. It gives the example of how, if an established polling firm is due to publish polling results, and on that publication the price of traded government bonds would be likely to be affected, than that could create an offence under MAR if the information were shared other than where necessary in the normal course of employment. Similarly, anyone in possession of the information could commit an offence if they traded on the basis of the anticipated movement.
FCA also notes that if the inside information definition is not met, then there is no restriction on firms collecting or receiving polling information relevant to market prices, and that spot FX is of course outside the scope of MAR (but noting that firms should always comply with the Principles, and that spot FX trading may have an impact on instruments that are covered by MAR).
In a letter to the Treasury Committee, Andrew Bailey explains the interaction between polling data and regulation, and the limitations of FCA’s remit. He suggests some of the wider concerns about sharing and use of polling data should be the subject of a government project.