DMPQ- What is Exit Poll and Opinion Poll? What kind of Prohibitions are imposed on exit polls and opinion polls?

Exit poll is a post-voting poll, which is conducted just after a voter walks out after casting his or her vote. Such polls aim at predicting the actual result on the basis of the information collected from voters. They are conducted by a number of organizations. The basic step to predict exit polls is sampling.

An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll, is a kind of voter behavior survey conducted to gauge the public opinion before voting takes place, while an exit poll happens right after voting.


the Election Commission has stipulated that:

  • the results of opinion polls can not be published between two days before the start of polling and after the close of poll in any of the constituencies. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • the results of exit polls can only be published or made otherwise known only after half an hour of the end of polling hours on the last day of EC exercises its power under section 126(1)(b) of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, to ban the exit polls.
  • November 2018, the Commission imposed a month-long ban on holding exit polls in the 5 pollbound states- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Mizoram and, Telangana.
    • Reason for limited ban on exit polls – Many national and state parties have argued that these polls are unscientific and biased. Political parties complained that these polls were sponsored by the opposition parties and this may have a distorted effect on the mentality of the voters.
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