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Big Miss! 5 times Exit Polls went horribly wrong

Many critics have argued that these results are influenced by choice of questions and are motivated.

Big Miss! 5 times Exit Polls went horribly wrong
An election commission staff pours ballot paper to count a day after the general election. (Image Courtesy: AP/PTI)

There’s a lot of hullabaloo around ‘Exit Polls’ that are held every time there is the onset of election season. For the unversed, exit polls are no rocket science. Basically, Exit Polls ask voters which political party they are supporting, after they have cast their votes. It gives a probable idea of which way the waves are shifting. These surveys are sometimes conducted either online or face-to-face.

In short, these polls are not really dependable as there is no telling if a person is actually supporting the party that he/she claims to support. Many critics have argued that these results are influenced by choice of questions and are motivated. Let’s give you an idea of the times when Exit Polls went wrong.

Blind eye to Modi wave

The run-up to the 2014 elections was one of the most happening and exciting time in India’s political history. The slogans of ‘Abki Bar, Modi Sarkar’ could be heard in every gully and corner across the nation. Most of the exit polls predicted that BJP would win. However, what they couldn’t predict was the number of seats that would lead to their win.

While Times Now-ORG poll showed BJP’s victory with only 257 seats, CNN-IBN CSDS poll showed NDA with 276 seats. It was only News 24-Today’s Chanakaya that showed BJP’s win with over 300-figure mark.

Lok Sabha Election 2004

The exit polls had predicted the BJP-led NDA to secure a win with over 240 seats. However, they got it tremendously wrong. When the actual results came, BJP managed about 187 seats and Congress and its allies got 216 seats.

West Bengal Election 2021

India Today’s Axis My India exit poll results showed BJO in the lead with 134-160 seats and TMC with 130-156 seats. Republic-CNX poll projected BJP’s victory with 138-148 seats and TMC lagging behind with 128-138 seats. However, when the actual results were out, BJP was wrapped with just 77 seats and TMC came back to power.

UP Election 2017

Most of the exit polls in Uttar Pradesh’s Assembly Elections were proven wrong. BJP won the elections with 325 seats but the polls projected a win for BJP with not more than 200 seats. ABP-Lokniti showed BJP’s victory with 170 seats with C-Voter polls showed BJP in the lead with 161 seats.

Bihar Assembly Election 2020

Many exit polls predicted an alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal lead coalition in Bihar in 2020 but it was the BJP-JD(U) alliance that walked away with the victory. Axis My India poll and Today’s Chanakya had predicted RJD-led alliance win but, as we can now say, it was a big miss.  

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First published on: 05-12-2022 at 17:05 IST