*An election exit poll is a poll of voters taken immediately after they have exited the polling stations. Unlike an opinion poll, which asks whom the voter plans to vote for or some similar formulation, an exit poll asks whom the voter actually voted for.
*A similar poll conducted before actual voters have voted is called an entrance poll. Pollsters – usually private companies working for newspapers or broadcasters – conduct exit polls to gain an early indication as to how an election has turned out, as in many elections the actual result may take hours or even days to count.
*There was a widespread controversy during indian 2014 General Assembly elections when election commission of India barred media organisation to display exit pole result until the day of actual vote counting that is 16th may has come.
*This followed a strong protest from media that there was no meaning of showing exit poll result on same day of acual poll result. This caused [ECI] to withdraw its statement saying that it was a slip of tongue and that the exit polls can be shown at 6:30PM on 12th may when the last vote of country is cast.
Exit Polls trends for 2014:
*The grand old party and its defeat: Congress has been attacking Narendra Modi and BJP but its campaign has been weak. While BJP's strategy to nationalise the entire elections and seek votes for Modi has worked wonders for the party, Congress' leader Rahul Gandhi seeking votes hasn't really made an impact. what the party could do is accept its defeat with a minimal number of seats and form a strong opposition.
Even Congress' allies such as National Conference and NCP did not support the party's last resort to attack Narendra Modi over the 'Snoopgate scandal' when everything else failed.
*Does Narendra Modi's wave really exist: Though some may disagree, these elections have marked Narendra Modi's meteoric rise from state-level politics to national level politics. Eveything from striking a balance on grounds of development and removal of anti-incumbency factors to subtle speeches with Hindu nationalist agenda's have been used extensively. While Congress tried to copy the same method, it failed miserably. The pattern noticed on ground is that people want to get rid of anti-incumbent governance. Though Aam Aadmi Party's rise was meteoric in the assembly elections and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal went onto defeat Congress' Sheila Dixit and become the Chief Minister, his party fortunes fell quickly after he resigned from the post.
*Who forms the government at the Centre?: Narendra Modi had set the poll pitch with his rally in Rewari, Haryana about how the next government will be. BJP is targetting a whooping 300+ seats and the party campaign is to win 272+ seats and form the government. If this well-crafted strategy succeeds and the party wins, Modi will be at the helm of affairs and deciding the future of the nation. Thisd government will be highly individualistic with concentrated powers and will try to set a balance for development and growth. What Narendra Modi will do to appease Muslim and other community voters is yet to be seen but the entire world is watching the show in the largest democracy.
*Rise of people-centric parties and their fall: The Aam Aadmi Party which was formed on the agenda of 'pro-people politics', and corruption-free governance held promises and rattled the incumbent governance. But, after a failed performance, AAP was not able to make an impact nationally. With Arvind Kejriwal pitting himself against BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, all eyes are set to see this duel. Earlier, Kejriwal had used the same strategy against Delhi Ex-CM Sheila Dixit.
*Local leaders making an impact nationally: Time is ripe for state-based parties to exert their signifance in these polls as big players are tying up with local leaders and parties. While BJP and its affiliation rSS has strong cadres who can take the message forward and help the saffron party come into power, the party has tied up with Apna Dal to secure votes.
While Jayalalithaa has kept her options open to join BJP, Mamata Banerjee has attacked the party and called its leader as 'Donkey'. Experts suggest that this is a ploy by TMC and BJP to polarise votes and a future alliance between the two possible.