Why do exit polls in India have no serendipity

New Delhi: Elections in India are a long-run process where nearly all the months of the year the country is facing some kind of electoral process. The regular cycle of elections in India is giving good business to the polling agencies. They do tie up with the big media houses and tell viewers the mood of the voters. However, on many occasions, they end up with false outcomes. 

During Bengal and Bihar elections most of the media houses were showing the results which were failed drastically. The polling agencies had predicted a hung assembly in West Bengal with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) getting a knife-edge over Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC). 

If we take an average of the outcomes of the exit polls on Bengal elections, the BJP was likely to get around 140 seats while the TMC could win 139 seats. Meanwhile, the Congress-Left alliance was expected to win 13 seats.

However, the results were far away from the predictions. TMC wiped out the BJP from the scenario. Mamta Banerjee led TMC had won 215 seats where BJP could only manage to hit 77 seats. This shows how false the predictions were. 

Meanwhile, in Bihar elections, the poll of exit polls had predicted a hung assembly in Bihar with the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan getting an edge over the NDA alliance. 

The poll of polls is an average of exit polls done by various agencies along with media houses. In this case, the numbers predicted by India Today-Axis My India, ABP C-Voter, IndiaTV C-Voter, Republic-Jann Ki Baat, and News 24 have been factored in.

India Today-Axis was giving 161 seats to RJD led Mahagathbandhan and only 91 to the NDA. Whereas, The NDA crossed the majority mark of 122 in the 243-member Assembly and proved the exit poll predictions false. 

UP Elections is now in the cue

The exit polls are now giving a mammoth victory to the incumbent ruling party of the state. Exit polls are indicating the saffron party to regain power and shattering the fate of the Samajwadi Party.  

Why do methods used by the polling agencies have no scope in Cow belt states?

In a state like Uttar Pradesh where the caste plays a good role in deciding the fate of a candidate, the agencies can not take random samples to do surveys.

The pollsters can not simply take random samples from any polling booths and decide the fate of a party. To understand it better, we have to understand the analysis of castes in UP.

UP Exit Poll results

For example, in a Brahmin majority Vidhan sabha like Deoria, the pollsters have to give proper representation to the castes of the area. If he takes 10 samples from a polling booth and all voters who were presented there were from Yadav or Jatav community then it can set the wrong trend of the seat.

In the same scenario, in a Dalit majority assembly, the pollsters should consider the caste analysis of the voters. If in a Dalit majority assembly, who are generally considered as the voters of BSP, they picked up samples from a booth where the population of Brahmins is good then it shows the win of the BJP or can impact the results of the exit polls. The pollsters should develop their own formula to conduct a pinpoint correct survey. In India, the agencies are following the methods of European countries and implementing them in India without knowing its repercussions. 

It is better for the agencies to change their methods of picking up the samples and do basic research of the area before concluding any result. 

These exit polls can only closely predict the fate of elections like the Loksabha elections where the decisive factors are Nationalism and Cultural identities. With the European methods, the agencies can judge the fate of the results of local elections only when they are riding on their lucks. 

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