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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.

Delhi L-G cancelled AAP govt order on compensation by discoms: CM Arvind Kejriwal

from firstpost

Delhi L-G cancelled AAP govt order on compensation by discoms: CM Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the Lt Governor has cancelled the AAP government's order to make discoms pay compensation to consumers for unscheduled power cuts, a...


BJP takes a dig at Navjot Singh Sidhu, says party is bigger than any personality

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BJP takes a dig at Navjot Singh Sidhu, says party is bigger than any personality

Chandigarh: In an apparent reference to cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu who had resigned from Rajya Sabha seat, BJP on Sunday said the party was bigger than any personality and no one s...

Court orders further probe in bar-bribery scam: KM Mani and his party should stay away from mainstream Kerala politics

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Court orders further probe in bar-bribery scam: KM Mani and his party should stay away from mainstream Kerala politics

Three weeks ago, KM Mani, Kerala's longest serving MLA and the man who presented the maximum number of budgets in the state Assembly, gloated that his party, the Kerala Congress, was like a beautiful ...

Kashmir Governor NN Vohra likely to be replaced: BJP favourites among top contenders for job

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Kashmir Governor NN Vohra likely to be replaced: BJP favourites among top contenders for job

News reports have said that Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra is likely to be replaced by the Centre.This possible replacement comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is on the boil due to violent pr...

What would have Muslims thought if I hadn't ordered firing on karsevaks in 1990? says Mulayam

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What would have Muslims thought if I hadn't ordered firing on karsevaks in 1990? says Mulayam

Lucknow: Defending his decision to order firing on karsevaks in Ayodhya, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday said to preserve the unity and integrity of the country even the death of 30 persons...

What Modi-led Centre is doing with Kejriwal, is what Congress did with the PM: AAP's Kumar Vishwas speaks to Firstpost

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What Modi-led Centre is doing with Kejriwal, is what Congress did with the PM: AAP's Kumar Vishwas speaks to Firstpost

Kumar Vishwas, a close friend of Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Siodia,has been one of the founding members of Aam Admi Party (AAP). It was at his house in Ghaziabad's Vasundhara where they strategised to...

'Mehbooba's meeting with Modi on Kashmir raises more questions than answers': Congress slams PM's 'sluggish' policy

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'Mehbooba's meeting with Modi on Kashmir raises more questions than answers': Congress slams PM's 'sluggish' policy

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturdayaccused the Narendra Modi government of having "sluggish" and "directionless" policy on Jammu and Kashmir, and said...