Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The First Egg-shit Poll of Elections 2009! :)

Last month or so the two IPLs (P for 'Premier' as well as 'Political') have helped me kill time and its quite a coincidence that as I write this blog post action is really hotting up in both the IPLs. Both are right now at a similar stage with likely semi finalists staking their claims. But the actual final lineup will be only clear in about a weeks time from now.

For me the IPL of the Political kind has at most times been more engrossing than the cricketing one. And today being the last day of polling, post 5PM there will be a flurry of activity on the news channels with each of them coming out with their Exit Polls (remember the EC had banned mid elections Exit polls this time around). Every news channel will have their set of psephologists/pollsters who will try to convince the viewers that there’s is the survey which is closest to the reality. Of course the real picture would only be clear as early as 10AM on 16th May.

But since all this while I too was quite hooked to the Elections I thought it was time I put all my efforts at tracking fortunes of various parties and leaders to good use. So I decided to do some number crunching and release an Exit Poll of my own. After all I have practically read every news article that's appeared in print/online media related to elections and watched all the debates, field reports on various news channels. Moreover speculation is a part of basic human nature isn't it ?

So here I am with the results of my first ever exit poll . Which I firmly believe is the first its kind as it doesn’t rely on asking few questions to a sample of 1000/10000 people regarding the choices they have made and extrapolating them for the nation. Coz with all due respect to the discipline of Statistics (which lemme confess has only grown after I underwent the Stats course at MDI :)) ) n its revered practisioners I firmly believe that such a "scientific approach" is unsuitable for Indian elections since:
  • Here elections are fought on issues like caste, religion, foreign origins, strengths and weaknesses of prime ministerial candidates, fatwa’s, hate speeches etc on which 70 crore voting population has at least 70 crore views if not more
  • Voting percentages vary from as low as 25% to high 65% in various parts of the country and results can be decided by margins as lows as 1000 votes to 2 lakh votes too
So my Exit poll is based on one plain simple concept:
  • Common sense, gut feel, inner voice (some may call it bias towards a particular party too... but then such allegations will be leveled by politicians too tonight if the results on a particular channel don't favor them ;) )
Of course I have also made use of statistical data like the results of the 1999 & 2004 elections i.e. seats won, percentage of votes polled etc and non statistical inputs like field reports from various states (as reported by the Indian media - print, online as well as television), reports from friends & relatives in various parts of the country and most importantly a resulting sense of the political situation prevailing in various parts of the country.

Some intangible weight age has also been assigned to the possible impact on the voters of the election campaigns of the various parties. This includes the elections speeches, press conferences, interviews of their leaders as well as all the confusing sound bytes. Of course the impact of "Jai Ho", "Bhay Ho" ad campaigns, the huge posters of Advaniji staring at us from numerous hoardings across the country, Priyanka's saarees, Rahul's dimples has also been factored in (or so I hope ;) ).

Enough light has been shed about the methodology (or rather the lack of it) so let me come down to the results now. First up, here's The Big Picture:

Best Case

Worst Case

Most Likely

















*UPA = Congress + NCP + RJD + LJP + TMC + DMK
*NDA = BJP + SS + SAD + JD(U) + TRS + AGP + INLD
*Expected margin of error : +/- 10 seats 

As for the people interested in the so called Third/Fourth fronts they are expected to stack up as follows:

Best Case

Worst Case

Most Likely

























For the detailed breakup of state-wise predictions please click here.

So here it is Ladies n Gentlemen... the First Egg-Shit err Exit Poll of Elections 2009... n that too a good 1 hour before any news channel has come out with its own version.

Of course over the next few days it would be clear as to how close or far away from the pulse of the people I was in my analysis and predictions. But what the heck! So what if I am no Dorab or Yogendra Yadav to hang around with the Prannoy Roys, Rajdeep Sardesais of the world ? As a participant in this greatest Dance of Democracy on planet earth I too am entitled to take a shot isn’t it ? :)).

Open to comments, criticism, counter analysis, jabs, swipes...


Ronak said...

do you have an exec summary?

ManDevIan said...

RonD dat was an uncalled for frivolos comment on such an important post!! :|