New Delhi: As the seven -phase Lok Sabha elections, one of the most bitterly fought in recent days concluded on Sunday, all eyes will be set on exit polls. Following the advisory issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the embargo on exit polls will be lifted on Sunday at 6.30 pm. Various national pollsters including ABP-CSDS, Today’s Chanakya, Republic-Jan Ki Baat, Republic-CVoter, NewsX-Neta, News18-IPSOS, India Today-Axis and Times Now-CNX will release their predictions in the evening.

Notably, the poll panel had advised media (both electronic and print) not to publish or publicise any article or programme related to the dissemination of results of exit polls during the restricted period. The advisory was also applicable for Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh where assembly polls took place simultaneously.

Click here for all updates on Lok Sabha elections 2019

A look at the EC advisory on exit polls

… In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll in the first phase and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll for the last phase in all the states,” an advisory issued by the poll panel had said.

“Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations,” it added.

What exit polls are, how are they conducted?

A post-voting poll conducted soon after a voter walks out after casting his/her vote is known as an exit poll.It aims at predicting the result based on the information collected from voters. They are conducted by a number of organisations. Sampling is the basic step to predict exit polls.

How an exit poll is different from an opinion poll?

An opinion poll is conducted to ascertain the public opinion before voting, while an exit poll happens right after polling. Opinion poll asks the voters, whom they have planned to vote but an exit poll asks for whom the voter actually voted.

How reliable are they (exit polls)?

Time and again, these exit polls have proved wrong. At several instances, they have had predicted the verdict of an election incorrectly. In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, exit polls had wrongly predicted majority for BJP-led NDA coalition. In 2009, they had predicted defeat for Congress-led UPA. However, in 2014 most of the exit polls were right as they had predicted an absolute majority (300+) for BJP. Today’s Chanakya had projected 340 seats for NDA and 291 for the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
.
Meanwhile, the polling for seventh phase is underway in 59 parliamentary constituencies including Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain the seat. A total of 10.01 crore voters are exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 918 candidates. The election results will be declared on May 23. Stay tuned to India.com for fastest poll results.