Topic:Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
4) What is an exit poll? And how is it different from an opinion poll? Reason why in India Election Commission (EC) is opposed to media coverage of opinion polls and exit polls during a multi-phase election? (250 words)
Why this question:
Last evening soon after the last phase of elections were declared to be complete exit polls have been meted out by Media. Thus, it is an important theme from the exam point of view.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must evaluate what is the concept of exit poll, how is it different from opinion poll and why ECI is opposed to the media coverage of the two concepts during the period of election process.
Structure of the answer:
Begin with basic definitions of the two.
Discussion should include the following aspects –
- Explain What are exit & opinion polls? –
- An opinion poll is a pre-election survey to gather voters’ views on a range of election-related issues.
- An exit poll, on the other hand, is conducted immediately after people have voted, and assesses the support for political parties and their candidates.
- Explain why ECI is opposed to them during the period of ongoing elections?
- Both kinds of polls can be controversial if the agency conducting them is perceived to be biased.
- The projections of these surveys can be influenced by the choice, wording and timing of the questions, and by the nature of the sample drawn.
- Political parties often allege that many opinions and exit polls are motivated and sponsored by their rivals, and could have a distorting effect on the choices voters make in a protracted election, rather than simply reflecting public sentiment or views.
Discuss both pros and cons , explain the other practices across different countries and provide for a brief comparison.
Conclude with way forward signifying importance of freedom of speech at the same time the reasoned account of such decisions made by ECI.