What went wrong with the exit poll predictions in the Bihar election? And why couldn’t the psephologists analyse the exit poll data to near perfection?
Electorates in Bihar and politically conscious people across India were convinced that Bihar was heading towards a political change after the exit poll.
Almost all the agencies had predicted that Tejashwi Yadav led Mahagatbandhan would win the election.
But the Mahagatbandhan eventually lost out in a close contest with the NDA.
Though RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 23.11 percent votes and 75 seats, in all likelihood, the NDA is all set to form the new government in Bihar.
In a face-saving exercise, psephologists have now started to claim that the victories with thin margin, at times, are difficult to predict.
Yes, it is true that the margin of victories of NDA-backed candidates in many constituencies were marginally thin.
The psephologists argue that exit poll surveys generally calculate vote shares of the major political parties, and then use an algorithm to convert this into seats.
In case of thin-margin victories in too many seats, it becomes extremely difficult to correctly project figures of the political parties.
Psephologists of some of the agencies have also been caught red-faced this time for wrongly predicting even vote shares of the political parties in Bihar election.
Some described the failure of exit poll predictions to wrong samples. They claimed under-representation of women in exit polls samples may have caught everyone wrong. In fact, women in Bihar voted overwhelmingly for the NDA.
Moreover, a large number of silent majority, who were unrepresented in exit polls, had actually voted in large numbers for the NDA.