'CND RALLY NUMBERS DISPUTED'
The Times – 4 November 1985
By Rodney Cowton, Defence Correspondent
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has been accused of consistently exaggerating the number of people who attend its demonstrations. It is claimed that photographic analysis shows the number who attended the rally in London on Saturday, October 26, was less than half the 100,000 claimed.
Dr Julian Lewis, director of Policy Research Associates, which described itself as 'a London-based political consultancy', said analysis of aerial photographs of the rally in Hyde Park had shown there were only about 38,000 people. The photography, from a helicopter, and the analysis, had been organized by PRA and carried out by Aerofilms, a division of Hunting Services, which is one of the leading British firms in aerial survey.
Dr Lewis said the photographic analysis was reckoned to be accurate to within 6 per cent, or roughly 2,000, on either side. The police estimate of the numbers at the rally was 70,000 to 80,000.
Dr Lewis said that in October, 1983, when the number attending a CND rally was estimated between 200,000 and 400,000, a similar aerial survey had shown the number was just under 100,000. CND could not be contacted yesterday.