Sample Quality Counts, Says Indian Pollster Who Called Modi Triumph - The New Indian Express

Sample Quality Counts, Says Indian Pollster Who Called Modi Triumph

Published: 19th May 2014 12:28 PM

Last Updated: 19th May 2014 12:28 PM

NEW DELHI: While most exit polls forecast that Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi would become India's next prime minister, only one little-known outlier accurately predicted the scale of his overwhelming election victory.

The secret recipe of New Delhi-based Today's Chanakya group was careful interview selection, ensuring that its survey accurately represented the demography of any given constituency in the world's largest and most diverse democracy.

"In India, when any poll is released, everyone talks about the sample (size) numbers ... no one asks about the quality of the sample," V.K. Bajaj, chief executive officer at the polling group, told Reuters.

"Every state has some caste combinations prevailing ... we tried to make the sample as representative as we could."

With an electorate of 815 million people, India's election was phased over several weeks in different parts of the country, and pollsters released their exit polls after the final phase on the evening of May 12, and the results were announced on May 16.

Bajaj's polling group predicted the Modi-led coalition would win 340 of the 543 parliamentary seats, with an error margin of 14 seats, and 291 seats for the Hindu nationalist BJP alone.

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