The second phase of the Gujarat elections took place on Thursday and the exit-polls were almost unanimous in their result of the BJP winning yet another term in the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Director of CSDS, Sanjay Kumar, one of the bodies conducting the more accurate exit-polls spoke to The Quint about the exit-poll and their methodology.
Between the third poll conducted on 30 November and the one done on 14 December, how is it that the BJP is winning after being tied with the Congress?
We at CSDS did three surveys. The first showed BJP winning by a huge margin. By the second poll, the margin had lessened and by the third the BJP and Congress were tied at 43 percent each.
The fact that BJP is in the lead after the second phase, in all the exit-polls can perhaps be attributed to the high-pitched campaigns done by both parties but the BJP’s clearly had more of a sway.
Why was a loud campaign not done in Himachal Pradesh the way it was in Gujarat?
For Himachal, both parties could have banked on the natural change in events and that with every term, the government changes.
The national mood has been of favouring the BJP so they might have thought that they will win the state as well. Even in the past, all the elections here have been won by a close vote share.
How did the GST, demonetisation not factor in to the votes that people cast, but they were swept by the polarising campaigns?
GST, demonetisation are not small matters but when it came to the ‘asmita’ and identity, with newspapers running ads like “Insulting Modi an insult to Gujarat”, people get swayed and vote for the identity instead of the issues bothering them.
Were the elections read wrong by the exit-polls given that the BJP is clearly winning according to them now, but it wasn’t two weeks ago? People protested against GST, demonetisation but now the BJP is in the lead.
The crowd in rallies doesn’t turn into votes. People protesting in the streets against the GST, demonetisation would still very carefully think about the elections which happen only once every 5 years. Votes are not cast in a haste and even though people were dissatisfied, they would be careful in deciding if they should give the BJP another chance or if they should vote them out of power.
There is never a direct relationship between voter turnouts and outcomes. Those who were angry and would have thought to vote against the BJP could very well be the ones who said “let’s not vote against but sit out” which could explain lower turnout.