Friday, 17 April 2009

The chatterati and the twitterati go out to vote

Voting is underway in India and while ballots will not be counted until after 13 May the journalist pundits have already noticed one trend: the middle class urban voter stepped out like never before. "Suddenly, the ink on the index finger seems to have replaced the tatoo as the latest fashion statement among the chatterati and the twitterati", the Times of India reports. The accepted wisdom in the world's largest democracy long has been that the poor vote, the rich don't. Yesterday, however, election observers at polling booths in in Hyderabad's upmarket residential areas dotted by spas and boutiques, such as Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills, reported a 30% rise in voter turnout in these areas.
As to what this change in behaviour actually means, the newspapers are silent. Indian electoral law prohibits the publication of opinion polls from now until the final vote is cast. With voting spread out over such a long period, presumably the political parties themselves do some private exit polling so they can fine tune their election strategies. Given the prevalence of election betting in a land where bribing cricketers for information is a standard bookmaking practice, we will get an indication of what these show in the Crikey Indian Election Indicator which is based on activity at the Intrade prediction market. This morning the Indicator still has the probability of a Congress Party member ending up heading the government at 46% with the Bhartija Janti Party second pick on 26%.
Post a Comment