Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 09:18 UK

India bans exit polls during vote

Indian newspapers with headlines of exit polls
Critics say Indian exit polls are deeply flawed

The Indian government has approved a proposal to ban the publication and broadcast of exit polls till the last phase of voting is over.

Officials say the ban will help people vote without being influenced by the projections after one phase of voting is over but others are yet to be held.

Political parties have been calling for such a ban for some time.

A number of state elections are due in India this year while general elections are scheduled for next year.

A government spokesman said it would introduce a bill in parliament soon to ban the exit polls.

Two years ago, the Indian election commission banned exit polls until all phases of voting were complete.

But the Supreme Court later overturned the ruling.

Most elections in India are long drawn-out processes and voting generally takes place over several phases - sometimes spread out over a month or more.

Some analysts say exit polls are fundamentally flawed with some exit pollsters trying to outdo competitors and impress their clients, viewers and readers.

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