25 October, 2020

Poll Handbook

A psephologist's delight

Poll Handbook
IT'S that time in the nation's life again. Preparations are on for the 11th Lok Sabha elections. And political leaders, serious psephologists and arm-chair analysts are all poring over data from previous polls to figure out which of the three major political alliances or combinations can win the upcoming battle of the ballot. This new 405-page edition packs in all the data needed for the psephological exercises. The volume, actually, is one up on Election Commission Reports—it has the polling figures of the 1995 assembly elections. The edition, to quote the publishers, "presents an organised collection of data which makes the mass of statistics more intelligble and paves the way for scientific analysis".

Besides the detailed constituency results of all assembly and Lok Sabha elections held since the formation of the Indian Republic, India Decides provides useful state-wise census data about the caste composition, sex ratio, age, sex and literacy figures. The comparison of infant mortality rate, for instance, between 1981, when the all-India figure was as high as...



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