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“Never trust an Indian exit poll” warns James Crabtree

James Crabtree, Mumbai Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, recently reported on reliability of the election exit polls, after they appeared to suggest that Narendra Modi seems set to become India’s next prime minister.

James notes that the exit polls chime broadly with evidence from pre-election opinion surveys, arguing that “the charismatic Mr Modi has dominated the campaign from the start with his promises of an economic revival and his mockery of Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi.”

However, he goes on to warn that “analysts also cautioned that India’s exit polls needed to be treated with caution following notoriously inaccurate predictions before the last two national elections in 2004 and 2009.”

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