What is an Exit Poll? Are Exit Polls Reliable? Know All About Post-Voting Survey That May Suggest Mood of The Electorate

An exit poll is a survey of the electorate exiting polling stations after casting their votes.

October 16, 2020


2 min


New Delhi, October 16: In the United States, presidential elections will be held in little over three weeks. In India, Bihar is all set to witness three-phased assembly polls starting October 28. Ahead of the results, exit polls of the US presidential elections and Bihar assembly elections will be released by various news outlets and pollsters. The presidential elections in the US will be held on November 3, polling in Bihar will end on November 7. 

After voting concludes, exit poll results of the US presidential and Bihar assembly elections will be announced. So, what is an exit poll? An exit poll is a survey of the electorate exiting polling stations after casting their votes. A range of different procedures or methods is followed to conduct an exit poll. Sampling is one of the methods. During random sampling, the entire electorate and not just voters outside polling station are asked for their opinion.

Pollsters ensure that all sections of the society irrespective of age, sex, caste, religion and region are sought their opinion during an exit poll. Are exit polls reliable? Yes and no. More or less, exit polls give a broad trend and a sense of direction as to where the mood of the electorate is heading. Many times, exit polls have gone horribly wrong.

What Does Representation of People’s Act Say About Exit Polls?

Section 126A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951 clearly states that “No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of the print or electronic media or disseminate in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of an exit poll during such period as may be notified by the Election Commission in this regard.”

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