Chanakya, the exit poll that got it right
As the performance of AAP in Delhi took most political gurus by surprise, one exit poll seems to have predicted the new party's impressive debut, and the Congress's debacle to near accurate numbers. The exit poll by 'Today's Chanakya', released on December 4, gave 31 seats to AAP +/- nine seats, with 29 +/- nine seats for BJP, and put the Congress at 10 +/- five seats. The final results of the Delhi polls on Sunday showed a 28-seat haul for AAP, 32 seats for BJP and the Congress winning only 8 seats.
Of the three other states, the political research organisation also predicted BJP's sweeping victory in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh with a projection of 147 +/- 11 and 161 +/- 11 seats, against final tally of 162 and 164 seats respectively. The agency also projected a neck-and-neck race in Chhattisgarh with a narrow lead for the BJP at 51 against 39 seats. The BJP won 49 seats and the Congress trailed at 39 in Chattisgarh.
V K Bajaj, CEO of Today's Chanakya said Delhi had been especially difficult for his agency, considering the lack of any background for AAP. "For all other political polls we got right, we had some kind of a background of the politics of the state and the candidates. AAP was a new entrant, and we had to rely on a lot of field visits and internal activities to assess that." He said as per their assessments, trends which seemed to have gone against the AAP, had ended up working for it. "The sting in the run-up to the polls against AAP candidates — where eventually AAP said the tapes were doctored, and no suitable defence was put up —, the talk about donations to AAP, for which they put data on their website, whereas their opponents did not, all actually worked in its favour, according to our field assessments," Bajaj explained.