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Report No. 255

B. Issues with Current Regulations

(i) Effects on the purity of the electoral process

8.8. Legitimate apprehensions regarding the effect of opinion polls on the purity of the electoral process justify regulation of the same. Among these are concerns about the accuracy of opinion polls. There are a number of instances where election results predicted by such polls turned out to be incorrect, by a large margin.

For instance, poll predictions based on election surveys during the general elections in 2004 went completely haywire for most of the polling agencies.342 In 2004, almost all the polls conducted by media houses predicted that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would be able to retain power at the centre, which eventually did not happen. This raised questions about the polls being biased, or incorrect in some measure. Questions regarding certain specific problems with opinion polls have always existed, some of them being:

342. Praveen Rai, supra note 319



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