Measuring Voting Behaviour in India

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SAGE Publications India, May 8, 2013 - Political Science - 188 pages
Measuring Voting Behaviour in India captures the dynamics of multiple methodologies used for measuring voting behavior in India in the past and present.

The authors elaborate on various methods that are used for measuring voters' opinions, attitudes, and perceptions. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method to capture the multiplicity of the electoral experience of diverse voters across different settings in India. This they accomplish utilizing their long experience of conducting national- and state-level election surveys in India and by simultaneous studies using different methodologies.

The authors trace the tradition of measuring voting behavior in India from a historical perspective, beginning with a constituency-level study of the Poona Lok Sabha constituency in 1967. They move on to discuss in great detail the survey method for measuring voting behavior widely used in the 1990s and even after that.

The book introduces to the readers details of conducting election surveys, that is, sampling, questionnaire design, field work and data collection, data entry and analysis, and challenges in estimating vote share based on surveys. It also delves into the various challenges and hurdles in translating vote estimates into seat estimates, with the nature of the political contest varying from one state to another. The book poses the major challenges in measuring the voting behavior of Indian voters and tries to offer possible solutions to meet these challenges.

 

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Contents

1 Measuring Voting Behaviour and Attitudes
1
2 A Historical Overview of Election Studies in India
13
3 The Multiple Methods of Measuring Voting Choices
34
4 Importance of Scientific Sampling in Election Survey
54
5 Questionnaire an Important Tool for Collecting Information
75
6 Fieldwork and Data Collection
98
7 Analyzing Data and Reporting Survey Findings
125
8 Limitations and Emerging Challenges
142
References
160
Index
166
About the Authors
174
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About the author (2013)

Sanjay Kumar is Professor and Director of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) since 2014. His core area of research is electoral politics, but he has also been engaged in research on Indian youth, state of democracy, and slums of Delhi. He has directed several national-level studies, most important being the series of National Election Study (NES) conducted by Lokniti–CSDS since 1996.

Earlier, he had authored Changing Electoral Politics in Delhi: From Caste to Class; co-authored (with Peter Ronald de Souza and Sandeep Shastri) Indian Youth in a Transforming World: Attitudes and Perceptions; edited Indian Youth and Electoral Politics: An Emerging Engagement; and co-edited (with Suhas Palshikar and Sanjay Lodha) Electoral Politics in India: Resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party and (with Christophe Jaffrelot) Rise of the Plebeians? The Changing Face of Indian Legislative Assemblies. He has contributed chapters in several edited volumes and research journals and writes regularly for national newspapers. He is also a known face on Indian television as an expert on elections.

Praveen Rai is an Academic Secretary at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, a premier institute in social science research and humanities in India, funded by Indian Council of Social Science Research. His key areas of research interests are: election studies with a special focus on states of Haryana and Chhattisgarh, participation of Indian women in electoral politics and media monitoring. Before his present assignment, he worked as a Project Manager at Lokniti, where he handled more than 50 election studies and opinion polls and was actively involved right from the stage of designing the surveys till final dissemination of processed data in the public domain. His writings have been published in Indian academic journals, mostly in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW). His seminal work, Electoral Participation of Women in India: Key Determinants and Barriers, was published as a special article in the January 2011 issue of EPW. He used content analysis as a research tool to ascertain and analyze the media coverage of women’s issues in mainline newspapers in 2002. Based on this study, he wrote a book called Women in Press—Still Invisible in association with the German foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), India office in 2003.

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