Johannesburg - An agency hired by the ANN7 news station to conduct pre-election polling in South Africa is being investigated by the Indian government after it was caught in a sting operation there allegedly offering to manipulate polling results.
C-Voter, which is based in Noida, south-west of New Delhi, was one of 11 polling agencies exposed last month in a sting by a Hindi TV station Indian Express, City Press reported on Sunday.
C-Voter’s managing director Yashwant Deshmukh was quoted in the newspaper telling journalists who were part of the sting that error margins could be manipulated to alter poll results.
Deshmukh subsequently told Indian media groups that the television news team had quoted him out of context.
But the scandal hasn’t cost C-Voter work here in South Africa.
City Press has a copy of a survey form, clearly headed “ANN7/C-Voter Opinion Poll”.
The questions range from whether the respondents intend voting, to which party they think is “more aligned towards the vision of Nelson Mandela”; whether they are happy with living conditions and infrastructure and which party leader “works in the best interests of the country”.
ANN7 last week released some of its poll results, which suggested that the ANC would take a knock in terms of overall support in the 7 May polls, but would ultimately brush others aside to retain power.
The New Age, which like ANN7 is owned by the powerful Gupta family, reported that its polls showed “the ANC is projected to win a 64% vote share nationally, the opposition DA will get 19% and the EFF is projected to win 5%”.
“The IFP and Cope are tipped to win 4% of votes each,” the newspaper reported.
Deshmukh did not respond to a request by City Press for comment.
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