Election analysis in India is almost a veritable nightmare if all the diversities of this vast nation are to be accounted for. Yet, analyzing an election is essentially a front-end job which depends on large amounts of data at the back-end. The integrity of the back-end data has immense bearing on the eventual election analysis of all kinds. There are essentially two types of electoral data – 1) Official data of the previous elections provided by the Election Commission and 2) Poll survey data collected by various independent organizations.
There is absolutely no problem with the first kind of data as its integrity is unquestionable, but there is a limitation to the level of that data as EC doesn’t provide us details beyond assembly segments, so we are blind in terms of polling booth level data which would have imparted great knowledge in terms of caste and class based voting patterns. It is the second type of data that creates all havoc in any election analysis as the integrity and methodology of the same is questionable more often than not.
Mostly 5Forty3 has been depending on third party and intermediary sources for the second kind of data, which has only met with limited success. Now we have developed tremendous expertise in conducting poll surveys after our OSOP experience in the three states of Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. We have developed some path breaking tools like VWISM and RSSI (read in Methodology subsection) to create near 100% accurate polls. Now it is time to conduct our own poll surveys and not be dependent on questionable third party data sources, going into the 2014 elections. We would like to take up individual states and conduct polls there – for instance, next on our radar are the three big and hugely important states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Most of our poll surveys are very low-cost affairs with limited overhead expenses (with as little as 65 to 90 Rs/respondent). Thus we can conduct a reasonable state poll survey with limited funds of anywhere between 2 to 4 Lakh INR. We are also currently working on some killer processes in the field of opinion and exit polling which will totally redefine the way we understand elections in India. As the historic 2014 elections are poised to alter the course of India as a nation, we promise to deliver unprecedented election analysis and perspective over the next 3 months.
All of this of course requires large funding and with zero institutional support, 5Forty3 is in danger of collapsing without adequate data. As we head into the election arena, most of us would be data-blind due to a proposed blanket ban on polling activities, so 5Forty3 would be trying to plug that gap. Please do support us in our impossible endeavor to redefine 2014 by becoming a 5Fort3 Angel Investor, open your hearts and donate generously while being rest assured that each penny you donate would be utilized effectively to take our passion forward.