As soon as voting got over in Delhi on February 8, all mainstream media outlets came out with exit polls announcing a landslide victory for the Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with some of them predicting more than even 55 seats for the Kejriwal led party.
Now, the results are scheduled for tomorrow but things do not seem as straightforward as the pollsters seem to have missed some crucial details. Delhi Assembly polls were peculiar in the sense that the voter turnout had witnessed a sudden, unexpected surge towards the end of the polling schedule. Especially after 5 PM, there was a dramatic rise in voter turnout.
Voting continued till 6:30 PM, as every voter who enters the voting centre is given the opportunity to exercise his voting rights. It is absurd that mainstream media outlets also announced exit polls by 6:30 PM. It is clear that accuracy was compromised in compilation of exit polls, for the sake of speed in bringing out the predictions and frenzied competition to gain viewership.
The Election Commission has announced, “The voter turnout in Delhi was 62.59%. It is about 2% more than the last Lok Sabha elections.”
What many pollsters seem to be missing is the fact that by 6 PM, Delhi Assembly polls had recorded a voter turnout of 54.65 per cent. By the end of the day, the total voter turnout was 62.59 per cent, a rise of around 8 per cent in total voter turnout, which can potentially turn an electoral battle on its head.
Delhi Election Commission: The voter turnout in Delhi was 62.59%. It is about 2% more than the last Lok Sabha elections. #DelhiElections2020 pic.twitter.com/8KjIJymp4E
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2020
The statistics reveal an even steeper rise in voter turnout if we look at the data as on 5 PM. The voter turnout stood at 44.33 at the said time. By the end of the voting schedule, however, it went up by 18.26 per cent.
The exit polls are therefore based on incomplete, inaccurate data. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise if the final results are totally inconsistent with the exit polls. Moreover, there is a clear reason to believe that the sudden surge in voting towards the fag end of the day actually went in favour of the BJP.
According to BJP leader, Meenakshi Lekhi, “Those voters (last-minute voters) were our supporters, they came after being mobilized. Because it is a holiday, it being so cold, people put it off saying we’ll go after lunch. And when announcements are made about voting closing in a few hours, then the voters get charged to go and quickly cast their vote. I have a feeling that this election will be in our favour.”
BJP believes that its supporters and fence-sitters got pumped up towards the end of the day leading to a sudden surge in voting that would ultimately bolster its prospects.
A strong undercurrent in favour of the BJP has been suspected over the last few months. While exit polls are predicting a landslide AAP victory, the AAP itself seems to be panicky.
After the voting got over AAP has once again latched upon the excuses of EVM tampering and has levelled allegations against the Election Commission. AAP supremo Kejriwal and senior leader, Sanjay Singh have shown clear signs of pessimism and they do not seem to be relieved by the favourable exit poll predictions. There is clearly more than what immediately meets the eye.
Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling? https://t.co/ko1m5YqlSx
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 9, 2020
AAP Press Conference by @SanjayAzadSln on EC not declaring the official Voting percentage in Delhi Elections
Whats conspiring? Whats the agenda? EC must answer! pic.twitter.com/aJaQci6M2i
— Vote For AAP ( DaaruBaaz Mehta) (@DaaruBaazMehta) February 9, 2020
The AAP has had a very disconcerting, discredited past of shifting the blame for its electoral defeats upon the Election Commission and EVMs.
Even before voting had begun, the “EVM tampering” gang had started insinuating that the BJP rigged Delhi Assembly polls. As the exit polls and the ground realities show a clear inconsistency, it is the last-minute voting in favour of the BJP that could make all the difference.
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