Are exit polls dot on?

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 06, 2012 16:15 hrs

New Delhi: Pollsters appear to have missed the target once again in their projections in two of the states -- Punjab and Uttarakhand -- and even Uttar Pradesh threw up figures that did not match the predictions.

Most of the opinion polls publicised last week predicted that Congress will emerge clear victors in Punjab and Uttarakhand but the counting of votes proved the other way.

Except for two, all the exit polls predicted a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh with Samajwadi Party on top but the results showed that the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party romped home with a thumping majority.

However, the exit polls almost hit the bulls eye in smaller states of Manipur and Goa.

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Demonstrating how seriously such polls are taken by the Election Commission, its chief S Y Quraishi recently tweeted, "opinion and exit polls should at best be on entertainment channels."

Those who find fault with exit polls always point to the previous goof-ups by the psephologists.

The exit polls in UP were not dot on, although most of them gave SP an edge over the ruling BSP. But most of the projections were far from the results.

The Star News-AC Neilson exit poll said SP would get 183 seats, followed by BSP with 83 seats, BJP 71 and Congress at fourth with 51 seats. Headlines Today polls showed SP getting between 195 and 210 seats followed by BSP with 88-98 seats, BJP with 50-56 seats and Cong-RLD combine with 38-42.

Similarly, India TV-C-Voter exit poll showed SP winning 137-145 seats followed by BSP with 122-130 seats, and News24 and Today's Chanakya poll claiming SP would win 185 seats.

More news on state polls 2012

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