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Lok Sabha Exit Poll: Role of exit polls in India's election result prediction

Exit polls predict the final result on the basis of the information collected from various voters.

May 19, 2019 15:14 IST
What are exit Polls in Indian election results prediction? How are the numbers calculated?

Role of Exit Polls

The polls are conducted after a voter has cast his or her vote at the polling station. The polls predict the final result on the basis of the information collected from various voters.

Difference between Exit Polls and Opinion Polls?

Opinion Polls

Exit Polls

They are conducted before the elections.

They are conducted after the elections

They forecasts the results of voting based on an assessment of public opinion.

They predict the final result based on the votes already cast.

They are less accurate.

They are more accurate.

How accurate are exit polls?

In India, exit polls often have turned out to be unreliable. In previous instances, the exit polls have made incorrect predictions, especially in 2004, when they predicted NDA victory and in 2009, when they wrongly judged UPA's seat share. The 2014 exit polls, however, rightly predicted a BJP win.

How are the exit polls calculated?

The firms conducting the exit polls usually ask voters who they voted for and on the basis of that they make their final result prediction. The prediction is solely based on the fact that the voters have given correct answers.

Who conducts the exit polls?

Private firms and media organisations such as Today's Chanakya, ABP-Cvoter, News18, India Today-Axis, Times Now-CNX, NewsX-Neta, Republic-Jan Ki Baat, Republic-CVoter, ABP-CSDS and Chintamani conduct the exit polls.

When are they published?

The exit polls are published after the conclusion of polling and before the counting day when the final results are announced by the Election Commission.

The exit polls are released after approval from the Election Commission of India.

Election Commission's advisory on exit polls:

During the phase of polling, the Election Commission has prohibited the media from publishing any material related to the final results.

According to the Commission, any form of prediction of the results could possibly influence the voters and their choice of vote.

The advisory covers not just broadcast media, but also websites and social media platforms. In the current phase, the exit polls can only be telecasted on May 19, after 6 pm, when the last phase of polling concludes.

The Commission also bars the media from displaying any material that may promote, prejudice the prospect of any particular party of candidate.

Besides putting a hold on the exit polls, the Commission also bars organisations from airing final results till it is formally announced by the election body.

The Commission issues the prohibitions, exercising its powers stated under Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act

The section states that no person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of the print or electronic media, the result of any exit poll during such period. In case of a general election, the period may commence from the beginning of the hours fixed for poll on the first day of poll and continue till half an hour after closing of the poll in all the states and union territories.

The section also prescribes that any person, who contravenes the provisions of this section, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

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