After the voting for the third and last phase of Bihar election was over, the news channels and poll agencies announced their exit poll results. Compared to previous elections, this time the number of exit polls was very less, with only a few agencies conducting the polls in an attempt to predict the election results.
The exit polls have predicted a very close contest, with UPA comprising RJD, Congress and left parties marginally ahead of NDA, which has BJP, JD(U) as its members. In this context, let us see how the exit polls feared in the last assembly polls in Bihar.
In the 2015 elections, a total of 8 poll agencies had conducted exit polls, with diverse results. ABP-Nielsen, CNN-IBN-Axis and News X-CNX had predicted clear win for MGB, while NDTV-Hansa and News 24-Today’s Chanakya had predicted win for NDA. The others had predicted a very close contest with little gap between the predicted numbers for the alliances.
This shows that among the 8 exit polls, only one had predicted it correctly, the Axis poll, which was commissioned by CNN-IBN but was not aired. All other exit polls didn’t predict the landslide victory by JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance. While some predicted win for the alliance, they predicted far narrow margin of victory for the UPA. While others were completely wrong as they had predicted NDA win.
The Axis poll, which turned out to be correct, was not aired by CNN-IBN because the channel was not convinced with the numbers. They didn’t believe that UPA will win by such huge margin, and decided not to air it on both the English and Hindi channels of the network. Due to this, Axis had deleted the exit poll results from its website also. But after they results were out, they had re-uploaded the same. This shows that News Channels which air the exit polls will not show a prediction if it does not match with their inter prediction.
On the other hand, Today’s Chanakya and NDTV had publicly apologised for predicting wrong results in their exit polls, after the election results were out. In a statement, Pranoy Roy had blamed the poll agency, saying that the data provided by them was wrong.
it is notable that while a JD(U) led Mahagathbandhan govt was formed after the elections, Nitish Kumar chose to return to NDA two years later, and an NDA govt was formed as a result, with Nitish Kumar continuing as the CM.