Do opinion polls hold any credibility

The largest democracy is going to undertake a comprehensive exercise to elect its representatives that would decide its destiny for the coming five years. Therefore, it is an easy inference to draw that all major and minor political parties are gearing up for the big showdown. The polls are scheduled for the months of April and May 2014.


Speculations are on the rise. The answer for which party or a coalition would get the required mandate lies in the womb of future. However, opinion polls conducted by various agencies are out. Every poll has a different story to tell.

The opinion polls have raised cataclysm in the political clans of the nation. They are garnering great reviews and antagonism simultaneously. The Bhartiya Janta Party who is the clear favorite with opinion polls, has decided to refrain itself from raising its voice in favor or against the opinion polls.


On the other hand, other parties including the congress have raised concerns about the very existence of these polls. They have even gone to the extent of proposing a ban on opinion polls in totality. They argue that the opinion polls may influence the minds of the voters to a great extent. Moreover, the predictions made by the opinion polls are rarely accurate.

The credentials of the media houses and other agencies who conduct these polls are also under the scanner, as political outfits sponsor many of the opinion polls. Moreover, the bias of the media houses also plays a major factor in determining the outcome of the figures stated in the opinion polls. Therefore, on these accounts the opinion polls and the people who conducts the polls loose on credibility big time.


However, banning the opinion polls is a decision bit too harsh on them. Ban would be considered as an infringement of freedom of expression. After all, we are country with deep-rooted ethos of democracy. Here every citizen has the right to express his views and notions. Therefore, imposing a ban on these polls is not a viable option.

However, maintaining transparency in the conduction of the opinion polls is the only and the most viable solution at hand. The agencies responsible for conducting the opinion polls should realize their duty to the nation and refrain from making biased predictions. The data provided by the opinion polls should be based on the real aspirations of the people. However, providing an accurate prediction is a herculean task, that too in a country like India.

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