Are the Exit Polls to be Taken with a Pinch of Salt?

  • As you are aware, the entire country was in the grip of long but eventful seven-phase Lok Sabha polls from April till the first of June 2024. The Dance of Democracy was in its full splendor when the mother of all polls – the General Elections – were held across the country in seven phases. Full credit should go to the Election Commission of India for undertaking free, fair, and peaceful elections where almost 100 crore eligible voters exercised their franchise. Visibly, there was lots of enthusiasm among the first-time voters who were thrilled to participate in the electoral process. Of course, the soaring summer temperatures and the accompanying heat were some of the challenges the officials and the other voters faced.

Exit Polls

PC: The Economic Times

  • But it did not dissuade people from participating wholeheartedly. Mind you, the country was in the grip of most excruciating heatwaves during the peak of the elections but still, the participation of enthusiastic voters must be equally applauded as well. Yes, the long-winding elections did offer the political class an opportunity to showcase their offerings to the people vis-vis growth/development narratives. However, what eventually turned out to be one of the most polarized elections had two of the most prominent political parties concentrate on the communal versus secular narratives that we are so used to now. Towards the later phases of elections, the narrative became increasingly personal making us wonder what’s happening for the civilized disposition.
  • No sooner than the last phase of elections were concluded on 01st June 2024, the media houses were all geared up to showcase the exit polls to roughly indicate which way the winds are blowing allowing us to have an idea as to who will be the winners. The moot point to ponder over here is whether such exit polls are to be treated as accurate in the first place. We have had several instances in the past when the eventual results turned out to be diametrically opposite to the exit poll claims. Look not far from the last assembly elections held in West Bengal where the exit polls predicted the BJP’s win, but the TMC romped home quite comfortably. Thus, can the Lok Sabha exit polls predicting a certain win for the NDA be taken at face value? No easy answers here.

Narendra Modi

PC: Business Today

  • Little wonder, the BJP-led NDA is rejoicing by the exit poll claims confidently reasserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be blessed with the mandate to reprise the role for the third successive term. On the other hand, the opposition ranks are equally unanimous in declaring that the NDA will be booted out with the people blessing the INDI alliance to govern the country. Needless to mention, by the time you read this article, the countrymen will know who the people have chosen to govern them. As the excitement and anticipation reach a fever pitch, the people and the political class will be all glued to know how the results will pan out in the end. Agreed, the exit polls are only indicative and cannot be treated as the last word. Let’s wait for the outcome.