Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: World`s largest democracy is all set to vote for the formation of a new government. With General Elections scheduled to be held in April and May, all the major political parties have initiated pre-poll preparations, rallies and are trying new pre-poll alignments.
Needless to say, Lok Sabha elections is a topic of national and international interest having far reaching consequences for Indian democracy, continuing economic liberalization process and sustainable economic development of the country. The moot question being raised today are - in the changed political circumstances, price rise and continuous exposure of political corruption, how does the voter, who has the ultimate power to determine which party should return to power, view the situation and respond to electoral process.
To assess the mood of the electorate, Zee News commissioned a survey through TALEEM Research Foundation, the objectives of which were to gauge the main issues that will be considered while voting, the value people attach to their vote, their views on the state of economy and the orientation of voters towards various political parties, amongst other things.
Keeping in view the objectives, a survey methodology was followed to capture the initial mood, change and current electoral verdict. The respondents (voters) were selected through multi-stage stratified random sampling procedure. At the first level, 56 Lok Sabha constituencies in the General, Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories were randomly drawn, spread across five regions (covering all most all states). Minimum 10 percent Parliamentary constituencies in proportion to the number of Lok Sabha seats in the respective states as far as possible were selected for the survey.
At the second level, in each Lok Sabha constituency, two Assembly constituencies were randomly selected. In this way, a total of 112 Legislative Assembly Constituencies were selected for the survey. At the third level, within each Legislative Assembly constituency, four polling booths were randomly selected. In this way, eight polling booths in each Parliamentary constituency were randomly selected.
At the fourth level, sample of 30 respondents (voters) whose name appeared in the polling booth list was drawn randomly using a fixed sampling interval within each polling booth. The updated electoral list of 2013, procured from the Election Commission of India website was used for drawing the sample of respondents (voters).
The survey instruments were initially prepared in Hindi. After modification and approval by ZEE News officials, it was translated into all state languages and English by state in-charge/region in-charge and TALEEM staff. Effectively, first data collection was carried out in Gujarat from February 19-24, 2014. However, in other states effectively data collection started from February 23 and continued until March 2, 2014. In each state, data collection was initiated by state in-charge or region in-charge who gave one day training to field investigators before starting data collection. Trained investigators under the supervision of a field supervisor collected data in the mother tongue of the voters. An identical survey instrument without exception was used for data collection.
The entire data was computerized. An analysis, keeping in view the requirements of Zee News was carried out using SPSS 12.