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Two Psephologists And A Clever Pollster

Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph:

For what it’s worth, I got my solitary election forecast right. I spent a couple of days in Moradabad covering the election there for a magazine and predicted that Azharuddin would win that seat....

When two auto-rickshaw drivers near Moradabad railway station told me that they had voted for the Samajwadi Party in 2004 but that they would vote for Azharuddin this time round because Mulayam Singh had admitted Kalyan Singh, the world famous mosque-into-mandir illusionist, to the Samajwadi Party, I knew the Congress was home.

I know what you amateur psephologists are thinking: too small a sample. Well, you’re wrong. What you don’t know is that both drivers were Muslims and both of them were called Rais Ahmad. What are the odds that you’d randomly meet two auto-rickshaw-driving Muslims called Rais Ahmad who had the same opinion of an election in Moradabad? Before some literal-minded pedant writes in to say the odds are quite good if you hang around an auto-rickshaw stand in a town called Moradabad that’s half Muslim, let me point out that you still haven’t accounted for the shared name. Trust me, for the electorally fey, it was a sign.

Read the full article at the Telegraph

Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph:

For what it’s worth, I got my solitary election forecast right. I spent a couple of days in Moradabad covering the election there for a magazine and predicted that Azharuddin would win that seat....

When two auto-rickshaw drivers near Moradabad railway station told me that they had voted for the Samajwadi Party in 2004 but that they would vote for Azharuddin this time round because Mulayam Singh had admitted Kalyan Singh, the world famous mosque-into-mandir illusionist, to the Samajwadi Party, I knew the Congress was home.

I know what you amateur psephologists are thinking: too small a sample. Well, you’re wrong. What you don’t know is that both drivers were Muslims and both of them were called Rais Ahmad. What are the odds that you’d randomly meet two auto-rickshaw-driving Muslims called Rais Ahmad who had the same opinion of an election in Moradabad? Before some literal-minded pedant writes in to say the odds are quite good if you hang around an auto-rickshaw stand in a town called Moradabad that’s half Muslim, let me point out that you still haven’t accounted for the shared name. Trust me, for the electorally fey, it was a sign.

Read the full article at the Telegraph

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