As the results for the 2019 general elections are out, exit polls from most of the polling organizations more or less stood the test of reality. Even though a bit variation in the prediction of exact seats existed among several organizations nonetheless all the polls succeeded in predicting the overarching trend in favor of the NDA. However, claims made by a few survey organizations are not only turning out to be far from the real numbers but also reek of blatant misappropriation of impactful data.
In a similar case of numbers predicted by a platform Anthro.ai, which claims to use Artificial Intelligence to predict electoral outcomes and poll analysis, has claimed that BJP will be able to win only 15-25 seats out of 80 in the state of Uttar Pradesh while SP-BSP-RLD alliance will win somewhere between 40 to 55 seats. “We expect the SP-BSP-RLD gathbandhan to win between 40 and 55 seats, likely closer to 55 than 40. We expect the BJP to win between 15 and 25 seats. There is a slim possibility that they will win 30, but we think that’s unlikely now and expect them to trend closer to the lower end of this range. The Congress is likely to win 5-9 seats,” wrote Narendra Nag, co-founder of Anthro.ai. Nag has regularly published pieces in the National Herald, a Congress party mouthpiece.
In the very first phase of 2019 elections, Anthro.ai tweeted, “As polls come to a close for the first phase of elections in #UttarPradesh it’s clear that turnout this time is lower than 2014. That’s a very bad sign for the BJP.” However, by the end of the day, the voting percentage was more in many constituencies compared to that in 2014. Similarly, the Anthro.ai underestimated the prospective voter turnout in other phases and constituencies. On the Etawah seat, Anthro.ai predicted that the voter turnout will be reduced to 50.57 percent compared to 55.03 percent in the 2014 general elections. But the voter turnout was 58.46 percent which is 3 percent more than the previous election and 8 percent more than the organization’s estimate. Any good pollster who claims to use modern technology cannot afford 8 percent margin of error. It shows that the analysis is nothing more than the previous ‘failed’ attempts to predict the electoral outcomes.
This prediction which is claimed to be based on Artificial Intelligence has evidently failed to capture the real mindset of the Indian electorate. Current trends from the Election Commission put BJP and its allies ahead on 58 seats with the SP-BSP-RLD alliance leading on just 20 seats.
Punya Prasun Bajpai, infamous for his leaked video post conducting an interview with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had also posted his predictions on the possible results of the 2019 general elections. His prediction devoid of any objective backing had predicted around 150 seats for the BJP camp, his predictions were also posted by the official Twitter handle of Congress in Madhya Pradesh.
मुश्किल में फंसी भाजपा:
वरिष्ठ पत्रकार पुण्य प्रसून वाजपेयी जी का लोकसभा चुनाव का विश्लेषण:
भाजपा के खिलाफ आएगा जनादेश..! pic.twitter.com/8VcdVGvSA3
— MP Congress (@INCMP) May 20, 2019
Punya Prasun Bajpai’s predictions also seem to have diverged from the reality by a great margin, in this case too with an error of more than 100 percent. While recent trends from the Election Commission are suggesting BJP to be leading at around 300 parliamentary constituencies, Punya Prasun Bajpai’s predictions had predicted just around 150 seats. Even predictions relating to UP are also far from the emerging trends which indicate the Mahagathbandhan between the SP-BSP-RLD to be leading at around 20 seats contrary to 50+ claimed in the said predictions which is a massive 150 % off from the real outcome.
Yogendra Yadav considered to be an authority of psephology by many, had also made faulty predictions on the election outcomes in the Hindi heartland states. In an article published in The Print he had said, “Polls suggest that the BJP state governments in Jharkhand, Haryana and Uttarakhand are very unpopular and would cost the party at least 10 seats in these three states. Nor is the party in a position to repeat its sweep in Delhi. While there are different projections of the mood of the electorate in the upcoming assembly elections, everyone agrees that the BJP faces a rout in Rajasthan and a serious challenge in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Past records show that in these states, the assembly verdict is repeated in the Lok Sabha results. If so, the BJP could easily lose 30 seats in these poll-bound states. All in all, the BJP is looking at a loss of up to 50 seats in these Hindi-speaking states.”
Current trends from the Election Commission indicate the BJP repeating its stellar performance from the 2014 general elections this time too. Yogendra Yadav had also made claims that the “BJP could lose up to 50 seats in UP alone” which is also dissociated from the current trends.
Vinod Dua had also posted a poll which also made misleading predictions about the general elections. According to his predictions. In the 303 seats on which elections had been conducted in the first three phases, the seats won by BJP led NDA will be reduced to 66 from 134 in the 2014 general election. The seats won by the UPA government will go up from 49 in 2014 to 197 in the ongoing general election. The survey was so optimistic that it claimed that the seats won by Left Front will increase from 12 to 24 while those by ‘others’ will be reduced to 76 from the 108 in the previous general election. These predictions are also evidently free from any real number as the counting is suggesting. Especially the left for which Vinod Dua had predicted 12-24 but evidently has been basically obliterated.
Error of more than a 100% surely raise questions not only on the process but also whether the process was executed ethically without any ideological partisanship as ideological partisanship hinders any prospects for objective analysis of numbers, the prerequisite for any credible prediction also if any process existed at all or these predictions were just meek attempts to mislead Indian voters