Bihar Election 2020: A look back at earlier Exit poll predictions

Within half an hour of the conclusion of voting, the focus shifts to exit polls, which aim to predict the final result of an election. The difference between an exit poll and an opinion poll lies in the timing when the voters are questioned. In opinion polls, voters are asked whom they are planning to vote, while exit polls are post-voting polls, assuring more perfect predictions that narrow down to the exact number of seats that the contesting parties are likely to win. But they often go wrong, sometimes terribly wrong.

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Bihar Exit poll 2015

In 2015, the contest was between BJP-led NDA minus JD(U). JD(U) was part of Mahagathbandhan, which also included the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress. Most exit polls predicted that NDA would get somewhere between 100 and 127 seats, a little higher than Mahagathbandhan, but it didn’t indicate any majority. In the final results, however, Mahagathbandhan won with comfortable majority.

In 2015, three exit polls — NewsX-CNX, ABP-Nielsen and News Nation — had predicted advantage Nitish Kumar but with a slender margin. Times Now- C Voter said a photo finish was likely with an edge for the Kumar-led Grand Alliance. India Today-Cicero forecast a hung assembly with the BJP ahead. News 24-Today’s Chanakya said the BJP-led coalition was headed for a comfortable victory with 155 seats.

Today’s Chanakya had explained the miscalculation and attributed it to human error.

“A simple computer template coding marking the alliances got interchanged at our end. Due to this our seat numbers remained the same but respective alliances got interchanged,” it had said.

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