Here’s your complete guide to understand the exit polls

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will come to a close on Sunday. In phase 7, over 10.17 crore voters across seven states and one Union Territory will decide the fate of 918 candidates.

Exit polls will follow shortly after the polling concludes. Here’s your complete guide to understand the exit polls

What are exit polls?

An election exit poll is a poll of voters that are conducted immediately after the voters have left their polling stations. It is conducted by a number of organisations and is considered as an indicator to which party forms the government.

How are exit polls conducted?

Different agencies carry out exit polls in India using several methods. The basic step to predict exit polls is sampling. Some agencies do random sampling of constituencies and some opt for systematic sampling. The random sampling can be of the electorate as well. Some parameter used in this include such as age, sex, caste, region.

Why are exit polls not allowed to be telecast before polling?

From the beginning of the polls until half an hour after the final phase of voting has been held Section 126A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951 bans the exit polls. Anyone not adhering the provisions of this section is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both under this section.

Why are exit polls banned by EC?

The poll watchdog in 2004 had approached the Law Ministry seeking an amendment to the Representation of the People Act to provide for a ban on both exit and opinion polls during a period specified by the Election Commission.

How reliable are exit polls?

One cannot completely rely on exit polls in India. There are reasons behind it. There have been instances when the verdict of an election was predicted incorrectly. For example, in 2004, the exit polls wrongly predicted BJP-led NDA coalition winning again. In 2009 again Congress-led UPA’s seat share was underestimated

The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections was conducted in a seven-phased manner, starting from April 11. The results of the polls will be declared on May 23.

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