ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Psephological Fallacies of Public Opinion Polling

Opinion polls in India capture electoral snapshots in time that divulge information on political participation, ideological orientation of voters and belief in core democratic values. The survey data provides for crucial social science insights, validation of theoretical research and academic knowledge production. Although the media’s obsession with political forecasting has shifted to electoral prophecy, psephology continues to provide the best telescopic view of elections based on the feedback of citizens. The ascertainment of subaltern opinion by surveys not only broadens the contours of understanding electoral democracy, but also provides an empirical alternative to the elitist viewpoint of competitive politics in India.

Loss and Gain for Both Parties

Politics in India has been driving the economy wheels, but post liberalisation, economic issues have started influencing the outcome of electoral competitions in the country. The results of the Gujarat assembly elections also seem to have a heartening message for both, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017: Why the Lotus May Not Bloom

The GST issue in isolation would not have had a significant impact on the Gujarat election, but in tandem with high anti-incumbency sentiments and an overdose of irrational development, it could lead to negative traction against the BJP.

The Decline of the Congress Party in Indian Politics

From being the single dominant party in India to its pathetic performance in the recently held assembly elections in five states, the Congress party has been on a steady downhill journey. This article looks at its trajectory post independence and especially in the aftermath of the 2014 general election.

Fallibility of Opinion Polls in India

There are many challenges in conducting election surveys that measure voter preferences correctly and when the results of these surveys are used to make seat predictions the margin of error can be large. As the record of pre-poll opinion surveys in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections shows, the opinion polls have many weaknesses while attempting to make forecasts in a complex situation. In such a setting, the polls can be used as covert instruments by political parties to make seat predictions and thereby influence the electorate.

Status of Opinion Polls

Election surveys are seen as covert instruments used by political parties for making seat predictions and influencing the electorate in India. It is high time opinion polls take cognizance of the situation to establish their credibility and impartiality.

Electoral Participation of Women in India: Key Determinants and Barriers

Women's participation in formal politics in India reveals that there has been a marked increase in their voting turnout and election campaigning. While there have been significant gains in these two areas, women continue to be under-represented in legislative bodies both at the national and state level and in political parties. An analysis of the factors influencing participation reveals that these differ for women in elections as voters and their involvement as campaigners. All said and done, positive affirmative action in the form of reservation in legislative bodies, greater accommodation of women in decision-making positions in political parties and in government would go a long way in addressing a serious lacuna in politics in the country.

Chhattisgarh: An Emphatic Win for the BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party's win in Chhattisgarh can be attributed to a positive appraisal by the voting populace of the state government's performance in the state.

Issues in General Election 2009

The issues raised in the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign by the major alliances and the response of voters to them present a mixed picture. The National Election Study 2009 survey indicates that voters did not consider some of the issues highlighted by political parties to have much relevance to them and these had almost no impact on voting decisions. They included, for instance, the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign issues such as the Indo-United States nuclear deal and the Ram Sethu controversy. However, economic concerns, basic services, welfare policies and citizens' security were significant in influencing voting decisions. Surprisingly, the United Progressive Alliance's vote did not suffer much even though the price rise and terrorist attacks during the government's term in office were matters of concern to a majority of the voters.

Haryana: Congress Retains Its Electoral Supremacy

In every election since the creation of Haryana, the ruling party has been defeated, but this time around there has been a reversal of this anti-incumbency trend. State-level factors played a far more important role than national-level issues in deciding the outcome in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. The Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda factor was in large measure responsible for this tilt as the people had not forgotten the ills of the previous O P Chautala government.

Shrinking Political Space for the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha

An inability to command support from varied sections of the electorate, a fragmentation of support among the adivasis and youth disenchantment have together contributed to the decline of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand. This is despite years of mobilisation by the organisation for the cause of a separate state and greater political representation for the marginalised people.

Chhattisgarh 2008: Defeating Anti-Incumbency

The Bharatiya Janata Party's triumph in the Chhattisgarh assembly election had a lot to do with the way in which the public perceived the gains of the Raman Singh government's social sector spending. The opposition Congress embarked on its campaign with the plank of antiincumbency but forgot to factor in that there is a perceptible link between voter choice and satisfaction with performance.

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