May 20, 2019

Exit polls and the X-factor fog

Visiting Senior Fellow Shankkar Aiyar writes in The New Indian Express on the credibility of exit polls.


"Polling public opinion, choices or mood at any time in India is a hazardous business given the inadequacies of the Indian landscape and innumerable variables that must be factored in to arrive at a rationale and result. The risks are higher when it comes to exit polls, given the subjugation of facts by articles of faith. The fact that findings/projections of exit polls in recent years have gone awry has only made it more perilous.


It would be fair to say that exit polls are haunted by questions. The commentary on the accuracy and credibility of exit polls depends on the ‘who’ factor—entrenched emotions of identity and ideology rather than the matrix of mathematics. Typically, those winning are happy to accept the findings, and those losing choose to challenge the very concept of exit polls. The favourite illustration critics present for condemnation is the projections of the 2004 General Elections—indeed both opinion polls and exit polls blundered, perhaps blinded by the rhetoric of India Shining."


Read the full article here.

x Close Window

Please verify your email address to access this content