Assembly Elections: How accurate are Exit Polls? Are they reliable?

Let us analyze the last five big and popular assembly elections to know about Exit Polls accuracy.

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An election exit poll is a poll of voters taken immediately after they have exited the polling stations. Exit polls are also used to collect demographic data about voters and to find out why they voted as they did. Since actual votes are cast anonymously, polling is the only way of collecting this information.

How accurate are Exit Polls?

Like all opinion polls, exit polls by nature do include a margin of error. To find out how accurate and accurate these are, we have analyzed the last five big and popular assembly elections. In four out of these five elections, the exit polls' claims proved to be hollow.

During the West Bengal elections, most of the exit polls also claimed more than 100 seats for the BJP. But, when the results came, the BJP was reduced to 77 seats. Mamata Banerjee's TMC won 211 seats and formed the government with an absolute majority.

However, the Delhi Assembly has a total of 70 seats. Any party needs 36 seats for a majority. After voting, most of the exit polls claimed the Aam Aadmi Party to get an absolute majority. The results proved these claims to be true. Aam Aadmi Party got 62 seats. Most of the exit polls were close to the results even in the estimate of seats.

But, in the Bihar Assembly elections, Exit polls proved completely wrong. Most of the channels and agencies gave a landslide victory to the alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress. When the result came, everything turned upside down. The coalition of BJP and JDU formed the government for the third time in the state.

On the other hand, most of the exit polls in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly were claiming the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance to win over 200 seats. In this election, the exit polls proved to be correct in predicting the wind direction but failed to estimate the seats accurately.

During the Haryana Assembly elections, most of the exit polls claimed the BJP to get more than 70 seats in the state, but, BJP got only 40 seats and could not even cross the absolute majority mark.

This shows that Exit Polls are not 100 percent correct. We cannot completely rely on them. Famous journalist Prannoy Roy wrote in his book The Verdict, 'After 1980, there have been a total of 833 surveys in the country. It includes both opinion polls and exit polls. 75% of the winning claims in the survey turn out to be true.