Timing, content, disclaimers: What EC guidelines are on exit polls
The rules governing exit polls in India are very stringent. For the first time this election, the advisory covers websites and social media platforms.Updated: May 19, 2019 14:37 IST
With the close of voting on May 19, the last round of Lok Sabha elections, the mammoth seven-phase exercise will draw to a close, shifting the focus to exit polls.
An election exit poll, not always known to be correct, is a poll of voters taken immediately after they exit the polling stations. The pollsters – usually private companies working for newspapers or broadcasters – ask voters whom they actually voted for and assuming that they have got the correct answers, they then predict the result trends.
To prevent such predictions from influencing voting patterns, the Election Commission of India bars media houses and agencies from making their findings public before the last vote is cast and sealed in an EVM.
Here is a look at the EC advisory on exit polls:
*Exit polls can only be telecast on the evening of May 19, half an hour after the last phase of Lok Sabha election gets over.
*For the first time this election, the advisory covers websites and social media platforms.
* The Commission guidelines say that TV, radio channels, cable networks, websites and social media platforms should ensure that the contents of programmes telecast/broadcast/displayed by them during the 48-hour period before the end of polls in each phase “do not contain any material, including views or appeals by participants that may be construed as promoting or prejudicing the prospect” of any particular party or candidate.
*The Election Commission monitors the broadcasts made by media houses from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results.
*“Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations,” the EC said.
* The EC guidelines also bar broadcasters from airing any final, formal and definite results until such results are formally announced by the Election Commission of India, unless such results are carried with clear disclaimer that they are unofficial or incomplete or partial results or projections which should not be taken as final results.
* The poll body also directed newspapers and TV channels that they should disclose the sample size of the electorate, the details of their methodology, the margin of error and the background of the polling agency which had conducted the surveys.
First Published: May 17, 2019 10:19 IST