national pollster
National pollsters will present their poll predictions to its viewers from 6:30 pm today.

Exit Polls 2019 will be conducted from 6:30 pm onwards on Sunday, May 19, after the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections 2019 comes to an end at 6 pm. Multiple national pollsters - News18-IPSOS, India Today-Axis, Times Now-CNX, NewsX-Neta, Republic Bharat-Jan Ki Baat, Republic-CVoter, ABP-CSDS and Today's Chanakya — will present their poll predictions to its viewers from 6:30 pm, as directed by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Let's have a look at what exactly exit polls are and how reliable are they.

What are exit polls?

An exit poll is a survey or a post-voting poll which are conducted immediately after the voters have left their polling booths. The poll prediction is done based on the answers given by the voters. An exit poll asks voters which party did they actually vote for.

How are exit polls carried out?

Exit polls, considered to be an indicator to which party forms the government, are conducted by a number of organisations. Various methods are used by different agencies to collect information from the voters but the basic step remains the same - sampling. Some organizations conduct random sampling of constituencies while some might opt for systematic sampling. The random sampling can be of the electorate as well. Some parameter used in this include such as age, sex, caste and region.

When will the embargo on exit polls be lifted?

The embargo on exit polls will lift on Sunday (May 19) evening at 6.30 pm after the last phase of Lok Sabha elections concludes.

Why are exit polls not allowed to be telecast before voting?

Under Section 126A of the Representation of the People's Act, 1951, an embargo on exit polls stays from the beginning of the elections till half an hour after the final phase of voting is over. Anybody, including the print, electronic media or any other social platform, ignoring the provisions of this section is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

Why are exit polls banned by EC?

Back in 2004, the poll watchdog had approached the Law Ministry seeking an amendment to the Representation of the People Act to provide for a ban on both exit and opinion polls during a period specified by the Election Commission.

How accurate are exit polls?

Nobody should completely rely on exit polls in India because they have often proved to be unreliable. In the past, there had been instances when exit polls had predicted the verdict of an election incorrectly. For example, in 2004, the exit polls wrongly predicted BJP-led NDA coalition winning again. In 2009 again Congress-led UPA's seat share was underestimated.


The ECI on Wednesday (May 15) ordered the micro-blogging platform Twitter India to remove all tweets related to exit polls. Twitter was yet to react to the order from the EC.

The results of the national election across 542 Lok Sabha constituencies will be declared on May 23.