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This article originally appeared in CRI content has now been subsumed in The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of

On 12th November 2013, we started 5Forty3 as an experimental platform to analyse Indian elections and in about four months we have got tremendous support from the readers which is borne by the fact that we have had close to 1.5 lakh hits in this period and get some 30k visitors every month. Going forward, we decided to plug the large gaps in available data of opinions of ordinary Indians on a wide range of issues by conducting political poll surveys to begin with. As India keeps growing, one of the areas that needs to be addressed is non-availability of dependable large data of opinions, which is a space that is either dominated by bogus market research firms or by extremely Left-leaning organizations who pander to their basic levels of insecurities and ideologies. For instance, an otherwise dependable data source such as CSDS is heavily infiltrated by Lefty ideologues at all levels, so one can see their biases in their questionnaire frameworks which eventually produces results that are more prone to their own ideologies.

5Forty3 in conjunction with CRI will create more right-of-centre ecosystems for poll surveys without compromising on our neutrality to data collection methodologies. One of the areas that we want to concentrate on, after the new government is sworn in, is to collect robust and dynamic opinion of India on a range of economic and socio-political issues. If, as is widely believed, a BJP led NDA government comes to power, then 5Forty3 and CRI would ideally like to play the role of providing a feedback chain to the new government through a methodology neutral, right-of-centre perspective analysis and opinion by continuously conducting surveys on important topics. This way, we would like to limit the damage that left-liberal Dilli media would inflict on the next government through their biased opinion making. In fact, this is the one area that would need our maximum vigilance in the next year or so as there are bound to be umpteen attempts to sabotage the next government.

If that is our medium term goal, our long term goal is to evolve as the most trusted election survey and analysis organization by continuously conducting poll surveys for state assembly and national elections. After the national elections in May, over the next one year, many Congress ruled states like Maharashtra and Haryana will be going to polls; if Congress loses these states then the party would go into terminal decline because of the simple reason that its purse strings would be cut off. 5Forty3 and CRI would be concentrating on these states to not only accurately analyse the election scenarios but also to disseminate neutral information for the right-of-centre political cause.

As we are standing on the verge of a new dawn of a centre-right political sunrise in India, CRI and 5Forty3 together would like to contribute to this movement by creating large data ecosystems. One of our first goals is to decipher the upcoming LS polls in April-May – our raison d’etre. 5Forty3 has already conducted opinion poll surveys in Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh in the last 2 months and is currently doing a survey in Maharashtra and Bihar while planning a survey in UP in the 1st week of April.

Our USP on poll surveys is that we release full methodology and undertake complete data disclosure so that our projections are beyond reasonable doubts, which is not practised by any other organization in India. Currently our Bihar, Maharashtra and UP surveys are costing us about 8 lakh Rs, of which we have funding of about 4 lakhs through third party sources (for whom we are conducting individual constituency level surveys). We have also earmarked about 50k Rs for the same activity from the capital that we have been able to raise through online contributions by the way of donations from readers of 5Forty3. Thus we are still short of funds by 3.5 lakh Rs for our pre-poll survey.

One of the problems with long drawn out elections spread over many phases that last for more than a month is that there can be considerable shifts in voter’s choices over a period of time due to ever changing political scenarios. Thus, exit polling gives us far more accurate projections of voter behaviour than pre-poll surveys (as was seen in 2004 when most pre-poll surveys projected a NDA sweep which got corrected to a “close-race” by the time exit polls started releasing their data findings). So we would be doing a national level exit polling using our path-breaking methodologies of data collection. We haven’t been able to raise capital for this very complex exercise which would provide us great insights into electoral patterns even as elections are unfolding.

Our current estimate is that we would need anywhere between 12 to 15 lakh rupees to conduct this exit polling exercise, depending upon sample-size and spread (details of the methodology etc. would be released on 5Forty3 and CRI by next week), which is only a fraction of the cost that many larger organizations expend. The table below provides likely expenditure. (We currently have a received/promised funding of 2-2.5 lakhs)

Expense Category Budgeted Expense (in Lakhs)
Hardware 2.00
Software 0.25
Travel 0.75
Ground  Level Poll Administration 7.20
Back Office Administration 1.00
Other/Miscellaneous expenses 0.50 to 1.00
Total 12

For instance, NDTV and HANSA are reportedly spending close to 2 Cr for their two-three part nationwide opinion polling, while CSDS-Lokniti is supposed to have been contracted by the IBN group for a sum of more than 3 Cr etc.

We would be grateful if you can contribute to this and help in our cause to not only redefine Indian election analysis but to emerge as India’s premium large data analytics organization in the field of public opinion over the next year or so.

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