Home / Elections 2019 / Lok Sabha Elections 2019 /  What are exit polls and how accurate are the results?

A total of 543 constituencies, seven phases spanned over a month, millions of voters — India's battle for the ballot has reached its final stage on Sunday. All eyes are set on May 23 when the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 will be declared. Before that, there will be numerous exit polls predicting the fate of candidates who took part in the fray. Exit polls will come shortly after the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 concludes. Here's a primer on what exit polls are and how they work.

What are exit polls and how are they conducted?

Exit poll is a post-voting poll, which is conducted just after a voter walks out after casting his or her vote. Such polls aim at predicting the actual result on the basis of the information collected from voters. They are conducted by a number of organisations. The basic step to predict exit polls is sampling.

Why are they not allowed to be telecast before voting?

Section 126A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, puts a ban on exit polls from the period between the commencements of the poll until half an hour after the closing of the final phase of the poll.

When can exit polls be shown?

The embargo on exit polls will lift on Sunday evening at 6.30 pm after the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections concludes.

Do they always get it right?

Exit polls have often proved unreliable in India. In the past, there had been instances when exit polls had predicted the verdict of an election incorrectly. In 2004, the exit polls wrongly predicted the BJP-led NDA coalition winning again.

What is the difference between an exit poll and an opinion poll?

An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll, is a kind of voter behaviour survey conducted to gauge the public opinion before voting takes place, while an exit poll happens right after voting. Through a scientific survey, the views of a particular group of people are ascertained.

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