How realistic are ‘pre-poll’ surveys?

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Almost all pollsters are giving ‘thump up’ to YSRCP Chief Jaganmohan Reddy and ‘thumps down’ to ruling TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu in the ensuing general elections which goes to polls tomorrow to elect 175 legislators to Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha candidates.

How perfect or scientific one bound to question these agencies, including Lokneethi, CNDN, Tiranga TV, The Hindu-Dainik Bhaskar, and C-Voter to name a few.  Their sample size wary and on many occasions of them had to draw flak to their projections.

Interestingly, these pollsters, in a bid to face any humiliation and backlash later, give +3 or -3 per cent swing either way.  What does that mean?  They themselves are not convinced as their survey samples certainly can vouch for the entire electorate’s mood.

The world’s premier media house, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which used to conduct similar polls surveys, but abandoned once being failed to project to perfection.

But, not so in case of Indian psephologists and several private agencies engaged in these pre-poll surveys.  However, none would like to deny the fact their surveys may give general mood of the people.

Yet, one ponder over why should any electorate disclose whom they are casting their vote well in advance or later?  Is it not a fact, that only hardcore voters and supporters, who are loyal to X or Y party?

Interestingly, though such surveys come under once ‘model code of conduct’ come into force, yet the visual media and other social media houses could find new ways and methods to conduct surveys and telecast and promote.

However, these surveys do may influence some percentage of undecided voters. But, by and large, the Indian electorate had come of age, especially the middle-class voters.  More vulnerable are poor and illiterate, who seldom get lured for money and liquor.

Surprisingly, in spite of awareness campaigns like ‘my vote is not for sale’, still money and liquor continue to flow and dominate poll process to determine results, on most occasions.  Many admit openly to fight a Lok Sabha seat one require minimum Rs 100 cr and for the assembly at least Rs 25.30 cr.  Knowing well the expenses ‘cap’ fixed by the Election Commission of India!

Huge stack of money, liquor and other articles are seized during electioneering, yet there is no control over election expenses, why?

Allegations and counter allegations do fly feely before every poll accusing each other over misuse of power.

Yet, many feel, more than pre-poll surveys, the ‘exist polls’ give some clues over the possible outcome of results,  ‘close to reality.’

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