About the survey

Print edition : November 06, 1999

THE findings reported in this article and the State-wise analyses that follow are based on a post-election survey conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi and co-sponsored by Frontline. The survey formed part of the National Election Study series conducted by the CSDS, a unique nationwide survey based on a strict selection of sample from the electoral rolls.

In this series, the same group of electors, comprising a national representative sample, were approached after each of the last three general elections and face-to-face interviews conducted to find out their voting behaviour and political opinions and attitudes. Retaining the same sample, after making minor adjustments to accommodate new voters and factors such as migration, makes it possible to study change over time by comparing the results.

The survey was carried out in 105 parliamentary constituencies - it covered 419 polling stations in 210 Assembly segments in 20 States and Union Territories. A total of 9,111 electors were interviewed in their homes in the week after each phase of polling. The last round of the survey was completed on October 5, the day before the counting began. The constituency-wise results of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections have been taken from the Web site of the Election Commission and recomputed by the CSDS data unit.

In order to promote greater transparency in survey reporting, the CSDS and Frontline would like to share with readers some background information about the survey.

The social composition of the respondents in this survey is as follows: 49.3 per cent women, 18.3 per cent Dalits, 7.9 per cent Adivasis, 10.3 per cent Muslims, 77.8 per cent rural voters, 41 per cent uneducated voters and 6.7 per cent graduates. There is thus an over-representation of rural voters and an under-representation of Muslim voters. In terms of reported voting, the sample percentages (actual results in brackets) are: the BJP and its allies 38.8 (40.8), the Congress(I) and its allies 36.7 (33.8), the Left 7.6 (8.0) and the Bahujan Samaj Party 3.1 (4.2). The sample size for each State and significant discrepancies, if any, have been mentioned in the analysis for each State.

The survey was designed and coordinated at the national level by Prof. V.B. Singh (Principal Coordinator), Sanjay Kumar (National Coordinator) and Yogendra Yadav, all from the CSDS. A network of scholars worked with the CSDS in designing and executing the survey in different parts of the country: Dr. K.C. Suri (Andhra Pradesh), Prof A.K. Baruah and Dr. Sandhya Goswami (Assam and other Northeastern States), Rajendra Ravi (Bihar), Prof. Peter deSouza (Goa), Dr. P.M. Patel (Gujarat), Dr. Jitendra Prasad (Haryana), Prof. T.R. Sharma (Himachal Pradesh and Punjab), Dr. Sandeep Shastri (Karnataka), Prof. G. Gopa Kumar (Kerala), Dr. Ram Shankar (Madhya Pradesh), Prof. Suhas Palshikar (Maharashtra), Dr. S. N. Misra (Orissa), Dr. Sanjay Lodha (Rajasthan), Prof. G. Koteshwar Prasad (Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry), Dr. Pradeep Kumar, V.K. Rai and Dr. A.K. Verma (Uttar Pradesh) and Prof. A.K. Chaudhuri (West Bengal). The members of the central team at the CSDS are: Himanshu Bhattacharya, Mona Gupta, Oliver Heath, Sudhir Hilsayan, K.A.Q.A. Hilal, Bhaskar Jha, Angad Kumar, Kanchan Malhotra, Anindya Saha and Chitrali Singh.

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