Model Question and Answers for APSC | What is Opinion Poll? Does it affect Voting behaviour? (APSC 2006)
Ans : A scientific, unbiased public opinion poll is a type of survey or inquiry designed to measure the public's views regarding a particular topic or series of topics, for instance party of their choice. Trained interviewers ask questions of people chosen at random from the population being measured. Responses are given, and interpretations are made based on the results.
Effect on voter behaviour:
1. The Opinion Poll figures are partly indicative of what is called “the bandwagon effect”, where voters who think a particular political party will win the election may end up voting for that party or candidate.
2. It is important in a random sample that everyone in the population being studied has an equal chance of participating. Otherwise, the results could be biased and, therefore, not representative of the population. Biassed opinion polls can affect free and fair elections.
3. Representative samples are chosen in order to make generalisations about a particular population being studied. Generalisations affect minority viewpoints.