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NEWS|Politics 
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As the elections approach, the debate over opinion polls and exit polls is unlikely to die down any time soon. After a sting operation on the C-voter survey, a pre-poll agency whose surveys are used by various news outlets, questions were raised on both the legitimacy and necessity of these surveys.Political parties have for long opposed opinion polls as and when they found the results going against them. When the pre-poll surveys before state elections predicted a Congress defeat, the party issued an advisory to its workers asking them to not turn up in TV shows based on these polls.In a debate moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN IBN, right after the C-voter incident, sociologist and political analyst Dipankar Gupta said that just because there have been instances of manipulation, doesn't mean the process should be banned yet.Columnist Vivek Dehejia in his column in the Business Standard counters opinions expressed by other journalists which emphasised that it would be foolish to say that opinion polls actually influenced the voter. Dehejia cites a research by Manasa Patnam which looks at exit polls in India and says that voters might actually be influenced by exit polls.Summarising Patnam's findings, Dehejia writes:"If early voters heavily favour party "A" over "B" - merely because early-voting regions contain a disproportionate share of "A" supporters - there might be a momentum swing in favour of "A", which would not have occurred if a different region had voted first. On the other hand, heavy early support for "A" could galvanise supporters of "B" voting in later phases of the election to come and support their party in greater numbers, and so there might be the opposite impact."If that is indeed the case, then the argument against the existence of opinion polls gains in legitimacy. However, like Gupta pointed out, instead of banning the polls completely, there is merit in appointing an independent regulatory body to keep a watch in these polls.But exit polls aren't the only medium to influence opinion and spread rumours among voters.In this age of social media, it wouldn't be too difficult to make impressions, courtesy the mammoth internet armies most parties have. Word-of-mouth, village meets, informal gatherings - there are more than just one means through which ideas can be spread among voters.Read the complete Business Standard article here.Manasa Patnam's original paper on how opinion polls can influence voters can be found here.

When Amit Shah wooed Omar Abdullah: Reports claim secret talks for a BJP-NC tie-up

from firstpost

When Amit Shah wooed Omar Abdullah: Reports claim secret talks for a BJP-NC tie-up

Ever since he gave up the ChiefMinister's chair, Omar Abdullah has been a constant critic of the BJP-PDP alliance,heckling the newly formed government from the sidelines. However, a new report on Tues...


Love at first sight to dreaming IITs: Kejriwal hams it up as the adarsh aam aadmi in blah interview

from firstpost

Love at first sight to dreaming IITs: Kejriwal hams it up as the adarsh aam aadmi in blah interview

As rumbles of discontent rang through the Aam Aadmi Party, its convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal left his fighting brood behind to go getnaturopathy treatment in Bangalore.The Delhi CM...

After 'snooping' on Rahul flops in Parliament, Congress back to targetting Land Bill

from firstpost

After 'snooping' on Rahul flops in Parliament, Congress back to targetting Land Bill

The spirited protests by the Congress against the 'snooping' and 'political espionage', allegedly carried out by the Modi government againstitsvice-president Rahul Gandhi, fell flat on Monday. Within ...

People reject announcements made on political considerations before polls: Haryana CM

from firstpost

People reject announcements made on political considerations before polls: Haryana CM

Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday maintained that people reject announcements made before the polls on "political considerations", saying the erstwhile Congres...

V Bhaigaih named as fourth RSS joint general secretary

from ibn

V Bhaigaih named as fourth RSS joint general secretary

New Delhi: RSS has appointed V Bhaigaih as the fourth joint general secretary in its national team along with Dattatreya Hosabale, Krishna Gopal and Suresh Soni, who have been retained.Bhaiga...

Congress ups ante on Rahul Gandhi 'snooping' row, says govt trivialising issue

from firstpost

Congress ups ante on Rahul Gandhi 'snooping' row, says govt trivialising issue

New Delhi: Congress on Monday upped the ante on the issue of snooping on party vice President Rahul Gandhi saying "Big brother is watching" and rejected the government's reply in Parliament ...

Gandhi Jayanti holiday issue: No need for inquiry, says Goa CM Parsekar

from firstpost

Gandhi Jayanti holiday issue: No need for inquiry, says Goa CM Parsekar

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday said there was no need for an inquiry or action against anyone for the omission of Gandhi Jayanti from state government's list of industrial and...