Feb 14, 2007

On Punjab State Election, Exit Polls and the News Channels

The Punjab assembly election with 72% turnout is over and the news channels have put out their versions of exit polls. Exit polls of ‘Star News’ and ‘NDTV’ show the Akali-BJP combine winning a narrow victory with 60 plus seats while HT-CNN-IBN exit poll first gave the Congress 53-63 seats and the Akali-BJP combine 47-57 seats and later made it 50-60 seats each. ‘Times Now’ is predicting 53-61 seats for the Congress and 51-59 seats for Akali-BJP front. ‘CNN-IBN’ and ‘Time Now’ are saying it is too close to call.

During the day when polling was on, NDTV was telecasting what they called “Insta Poll” where they were giving up-to-date information on which political front was leading. The election commission has filed a
FIR against NDTV for allegedly violating the electoral law.

The Punjabis have been like the Keralites till now – that is chucking out the incumbent government in every poll. If the ‘Star News’ and ‘NDTV’ exit polls - based on sample size of 13,000 and 47,000 respectively - are to be believed then this state election is really no surprise. On the other hand the HT-CNN-IBN exit poll based on a sample size of just 5217 respondents tells us that the incumbent government has defeated anti-incumbency and won a victory based on performance.

For NDTV getting this exit poll is very important. Infact their reputation is on the line. For some time now they have been getting egg on their face and had to eat crow every time they tried to forecast state or national elections and had to actually stop doing it to save further embarrassment. So much so that the father of Indian Psephology Dr. Prannoy Roy was reduced to calculating the averages of seats predicted by other channels! In the just concluded BMC polls, NDTV had - after a very long time tried their hand in predicting elections once again and - correctly predicted Shiv Sena-BJP combine coming back to power. Getting this right must have emboldened them to start forecasting polls again.

I don’t understand why the people who got the exit poll for the caste-ridden Bihar state election absolutely right had to modify their figures as mentioned above. CNN-IBN has been on cloud nine ever since they got the Bihar state exit poll right. Could this be the beginning of the end of CNN-IBN’s exit poll predicting programmes?

What is surprising is that no one has predicted anything significant for BSP in a state where 30 percent of the population is Dalit and when the BSP is the fastest growing political party in India.

As for me I am looking forward to see Navjot Singh Sidhu defeating Singla and create history by being the first convict to be ‘duly’ elected to the Indian Parliament by the public.

Here is something we all can predict. If the Congress wins then the credit will automatically go to Sonia Gandhi and in case they are chucked out then Arminder Singh will be made the fall guy automatically.

BJP’s Arun Jaitly has been very lucky in winning most of the states he has managed till now. Will he be lucky here too?

On February 27 we will know who will have the last laugh in Punjab.

1 comment:

Hussain said...

Have you casted your exit poll?