How to read exit polls? How are they different from opinion polls?
An election exit poll is a survey based on what the voters say while they exit the polling stations after casting their votes. As the last phase of the election will be over on March 7, viewers can expect exit polls starting from 7pm on March 7. Several firms come up with their exit poll predictions. Not all exit poll figures are on point. While the efficiency of an exit poll can be established only on the counting day, here is how to read exit poll figures.
With a pinch of salt
According to experts, exit poll figures are to be taken with a pinch of salt. They should not be accepted or rejected in totality. Though the assumption is based on science, there are many factors controlling the outcome of an exit poll. A voter may not say correctly which party he has voted for. So there is an accepted margin or error.
Exit poll versus opinion poll
Exit polls are surveys done after the voters exit from the polling booth by asking them who they have voted. Opinion polls are generally conducted before the election asking people questions about their opinion on who is likely to win an election.
History of exit polls in India
It is believed that Delhi's Centre for Developing Societies developed the first exit poll in the1960s as an academic exercise.