The tragedy of Exit Polls
Are Exit Polls subjective or objective? This is the question one asks looking at the divergences in different Exit Polls. This election season in Karnataka, Axis My India, Today's Chanakya, C-Voter, VMR, Jan Ki Baat, and others have given different figures.
From past experience, it's clear that no pollster is perfect. Much depends on which factor a pollster gives the highest consideration to while giving seat projections based on vote shares.
For example, if a pollster believes that counter-Vokkaliga consolidation happened against JDS and it worked in favour of the Congress, he will write off the former and give more seats to the latter. But if this belief is proven wrong, JDS will win a higher number of seats than projected, Congress will suffer, and BJP could emerge the single largest party!
Is there subjectivity in exit polls? Many experts say yes! Those with higher sample sizes, especially Axis My India, have been more accurate than others. But they too have floundered in region-wise vote shares, for example. Nothing about Exit Polls seems to be gospel truth!