Exit Polls and Statistical Sampling Methods

The last day of election happened to be May 12, 2014. Half an hour after the completion of the polling the leading TV channels based on the data that they had collected after randomly selected voters who had cast their votes and were walking out of the booth did the following predictions. For the sampling method to work, the voter should tell the truth namely to whom he cast his ballot. How big should the sample be and how the voting population was stratified is all required to improve the accuracy of prediction. Let us now look at the projection of the leading television channels


UPA 101            UPA 97               UPA 148

AAP5                 AAP     4              NDA    249

NDA289            NDA    281          OTHERS 146


CNN                      IBN                  

UPA 92-102        NDA 270-282

TMC 25-31          ADMK 22-28

LEFT 14-20           AAP 3-7

AAJ TAK      

UPA 110-120

NDA 261-283

OTHERS 150-162

Observations based on the data

1)     The voters have concluded that the UPA will have to exit the seat of power. The voting population have said “enough of you people”

2)     NDA will most likely to get a simple majority. Be assured it will take at least 2 years to untangle the various mess UPA government have created

3)     AAP may get 4-7 seats with a possible share of 4 to 5% of the votes polled

4)     Stratified Random Sampling technique is a superior tool to derive the information about the population from the sample. The sampling error is expected to be 3 to 4 percent. I don’t know as to how they defined the strata.

5)     BJP is expected to sweep aside the regional heavy weights like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of UP and Rashtria Janata Dal (RJD) of Bihar.

6)     ADMK may be a force to reckon with.

7)     Ten years of UPA government have made a deep impact on the overall performance of the economy. Majority of people now believe the need to redirect the economy. This will require a major change in the mindset.

8)     This election has clearly demonstrated that people do count and they act in their best interests. If AAP can muster 5 percent of popular votes, it is only a matter of time before their vote share will increase significantly. They will be a force to reckon with the next election

9)     Candidates who don’t have money or high net worth but passionate about serving the country will slowly and steadily join the election fray

10)We need to wait for the actually counted votes before we conclude as to whether the sample selected was adequate, representative and helpful in predicting the outcome


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