Fabricated image shared as pre-poll survey projecting YSRCP win in Andhra Pradesh

By: Rahul Adhikari
March 19 2024

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Fabricated image shared as pre-poll survey projecting YSRCP win in Andhra Pradesh

Social media posts claim that South First pre-poll survey projected YRSCP win in the AP assembly polls. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

Neither South First nor Way2News published any such report about a survey. The viral image is fabricated and was created using the Way2News template.

Claim ID 4db49d3b

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Saturday, March 16, the schedule for the 2024 Assembly elections, which will be conducted alongside the Lok Sabha elections. The polls for the Andhra Pradesh Assembly are scheduled for May 13 across 175 constituencies, with the counting of votes to take place on June 4.

What is the claim?

In the context of the forthcoming elections, a screenshot claiming to be from a news report by the media outlet Way2News, published in Telugu, was circulated. This screenshot suggested that the news website South First released a pre-poll survey conducted by the survey organization People’s Pulse for the state Assembly elections. According to this purported survey, the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) is projected to form the next government.

The graphic in the widely shared post, dated March 11, 2024, forecasts the distribution of seats in the state Assembly as follows: the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) is expected to secure 121-134 seats, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) 21-35 seats, the Jana Sena Party (JSP) 2-5 seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) one seat. Additionally, the screenshot indicates that YSRCP is anticipated to garner 51 percent of the votes, while the BJP is projected to receive 38 percent.

The report in Telugu reads, “The South First National Survey has mentioned that the three-party alliance seems to be beneficial for the YCP. It is estimated that if the elections are held in AP now, YCP will get 121-134 seats, and the alliance will get 23-41 seats. It said that people’s admiration for Jagan has increased due to alliances and YCP’s graph has seen a 10 percent increase compared to last month. It said that this election has become like one versus all.”

Several users shared the post on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), making the same claim. An archived version of one of the viral posts can be accessed here.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false as neither South First nor Way2News has published any such report. The viral image has been fabricated using a template of Way2News.

What did we find?

Upon examining the viral image, we identified several inconsistencies. Notably, the graphic's heading is misspelled as ‘South Frist - People’s Pulse’ instead of the correct ‘South First,’ an error that would typically be caught before publication.

Additionally, the post suggests the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to secure 38 percent of the vote share yet only win a single seat. In contrast, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is predicted to win 21-35 seats with just a 4 percent vote share. While the vote share projection is theoretically feasible, it seems highly improbable for a party receiving the second-highest vote share of 38 percent to secure only one seat. This discrepancy raises questions about the validity of the survey results presented in the post.

The discrepancies in the viral post. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

South First, Way2News issue statements

Although South First has conducted numerous surveys in collaboration with People’s Pulse, our investigation did not uncover any reports of a pre-poll survey by South First predicting the YSRCP would form the government in the upcoming Andhra Pradesh elections. Extensive searches on both the websites and social media accounts of People’s Pulse and South First yielded no information regarding such a pre-poll survey.

Instead, we found that South First had issued a clarification on X that stated, “South First, Peoples Pulse have not carried out any pre-poll survey for Andhra so far.” People’s Pulse also reposted the clarification.

Additionally, Fact-check By Way2News, the fact-checking unit of Way2News, also stated on X that their name is being misused in the context of such a report. Their statement read, “This is not a #Way2News story. Some miscreants are spreading misinformation using our logo in #MetaGroups, and the 'attached post' has gone viral. We confirm that this has not been published by.”

Logically Facts has has debunked numerous false claims propagated through fabricated news reports mimicking the Way2News template in the past.

The verdict

A fabricated image, resembling a Way2News report template, has been circulated with the false claim that a South First pre-poll survey for Andhra Pradesh predicts the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) will form the government. Upon examination, we found several inconsistencies and noted that both publications have issued clarifications stating they have not published any such report. Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake.

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