Exit polls ring truer with better predictions

Exit polls ring truer with better predictions

Exit polls ring truer with better predictions

With the BJP-led NDA getting a clear majority, pollsters can breathe easy this time, with the Lok Sabha election results almost reflecting the predictions of two exit polls, though most of them were off the mark on the Congress' tally.

Opinion poll agency Today's Chanakya's prediction of 340 seats for the NDA and India News's 315-seat projection were the closest to the results, while others could feel relieved for having got the trend right, even if they did not get the numbers.

The India Today-Cicero poll had given the NDA 261-282 seats. while ABP-Nielsen has given it 278. India TV-CVoter had given the NDA 289 seats, Times Now-ORG India 249-265, See News 299 and CNN-IBN-CSDS 270-282.

However, none could predict the downfall of the Congress to just around 50 seats. Today's Chanakya was nearer, giving it 70 seats, while the CSDS survey gave the party 92-102 seats. Others polls gave them between 100 and 120 seats.

The NDTV-Hansa Research post poll survey had given NDA 279 while giving 103 for Congress.

With the exit polls going off the mark on earlier occasions, there was pressure on pollsters to get their predictions right this time.

In 2004, when almost all the polls had predicted the return of the NDA with more than 240 seats, it had won only 189 seats, while the Congress, which was predicted to get a maximum of 197, got 222.

Similarly, in the previous elections, almost all the polls predicted a close race, with some even giving the NDA an edge. However, the results went against all exit poll predictions, with the UPA getting 262 seats.