The Exit Polls were released yesterday and the general consensus seems to be that PM Modi led NDA is coming back to power with a thumping majority. Amidst the multiple Exit Polls, there was one poll that stood out. The ABP-Nielsen poll was an outlier, giving NDA only 267 seats initially, which was later revised to 277. The prediction basically meant that NDA itself would fall short of a majority and not be able to form the government.
Several “liberals” depended on the Nielsen Poll to discredit the thumping majority all other polls were giving BJP.
However, now the real reason for such a skewed projection, specific to Nielsen has been revealed. Nielsen simply deleted the pro-BJP responses when they conducted their survey for the Exit Poll. This revelation was made by the Director of Nielsen, Umesh Jha himself.
So this was the reason why ABP gave below 250 seats to bjp in their exit poll while others gave 300+..
They assumed that people are lying that they voted for BJP????
Ye journalism hain pic.twitter.com/ZpbvyqroxQ
— Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) May 20, 2019
Jha said that during their survey, they found that ‘many people were doing BJP-BJP’ and hence after they “calibrated” their numbers, they arrived at the 267 number as their projection, and later revised the same to 277.
When the journalist asked him what he meant by “overclaim”, Umesh Jha explained that when he asked people whom they voted for, “more than required people were saying they voted for BJP” and “probably” they did not “vote for BJP in reality”.
Then, Jha proceeds to tie himself up in knots further. He explains further that they ask voters 2 questions – who they voted for now, and who they had voted for last elections. He then says that it is possible that this time, due to “fear factor” people are saying that they voted for BJP when in reality, they did not.
Essentially, the Director of Nielsen survey just admitted to deleting responses that favoured BJP to come to a more “realistic” number according to personal prejudices. There is no basis for simply assuming that the voter is lying and thus, his response must be eliminated.
The director has thus admitted that his numbers are arbitrary and if they had not deleted the responses that favour BJP, the numbers would have been much higher.
Umesh Jha is the “Head Customized Research” at Nielsen according to his LinkedIn page.
While all other polls were giving a thumping majority to BJP and NDA, Nielsen chose to “customise” their survey and simply delete voter responses were overwhelmingly in favour of BJP.
This dishonesty perhaps crosses all limits of public trust as far as Exit Polls are concerned. Nielsen had also found itself in hot water during the Bihar assembly elections when it had supposedly provided incorrect data to 18 channels showing a BJP lead.