With Uttar Pradesh facing the last leg of elections on Monday, all eyes are now fixed on exit polls. The districts voting in this phase are Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra. With 613 candidates in the fray on 54 seats, including those falling in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary segment Varanasi, today marks the end of the Assembly elections across five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
The counting of the polls and results will be declared on March 10 (Thursday). While we have to wait for three more days to know whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could retain its power in Uttar Pradesh, whether Congress could live up to its poll promises in Punjab, or where is Goa’s defection headed and could Aam Admi Party (AAP) would witness a sudden rise, the exit polls, which would begin from 6;30pm on Monday, will allow us some respite from a deluge of speculation.
What are Exit polls and how are they conducted?
Exit polls are predictions made by media organisations after conducting surveys on the field. It is done by using random or systematic sampling methods based upon questions asked to voters and political experts, to tentatively decide which party or leader has been favoured more.
To estimate the outcome of an election in a particular constituency, a sample of its smallest voting units (often referred to as precincts or polling locations) is drawn and at least one interviewer is assigned to each sampled location on Election Day.
Once all the samples are collected, answers and data are collated from them to estimate a fair idea of what the political trends appear like in that particular state or constituency.
Exit polls Date and Time
Exit poll results will be declared after 6.30 pm on March 7, according to a guideline by the Election Commission of India (ECI). The guideline has been in effect from 7 am on February 10 and will remain in place till 6.30 pm on March 7.
Earlier in January, the ECI had said, “No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicize by means of the print or electronic media or disseminate in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll.”
The notification further stated that any person who violates the order will be punished with a two-year jail term or fine or both, the notification further stated.
When and where to watch?
The Exit polls will be broadcast across multiple media channels.
The most prominent exit polls in India are usually conducted by Chanakya, CVoter, and MyAxis India, among others. They are shown on TV channels including ABP Network, Times Now, India Today, Aaj Tak, NDTV, Zee News, TV9, News24, Bharatvarsh and others.