Exit polls predict Modi comeback
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to win a historic second term with a comfortable majority for the BJP-led alliance, most exit polls projected as the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections concluded on Sunday.
While the India Today-Axis exit poll gave the highest number of seats — 339-365 — to the NDA, the Neta/NewsX poll pegged the numbers of the BJP-led alliance at 242 seats — 30 short of the half-way mark — in 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats where elections were held.
The Congress-led UPA was projected to win 164 seats according to the Neta/NewsX exit poll, while the India Today projections showed the UPA winning anywhere between 77 and 108 seats.
According to exit polls released by Times Now-VMR and News18-IPSOS, Modi’s alliance was likely to get a clear majority with 306 and 336 seats respectively. The TimesNow poll puts the UPA figure at 132 and others — which include regional outfits such as SP-BSP, Trinamool, BJD, TRS, YSRCP — at 104. The Republic TV-Cvoter exit poll has forecast 287 seats for the NDA, 128 seats for the UPA and 127 for others.
Way off mark: Cong
While the BJP appeared to be elated at the exit poll predictions, the Congress leaders pointed out that 80% of such exercises carried out during previous elections were way off the mark. Congress functionaries pointed out that only on Saturday, the outcome of the general elections in Australia had proved exit polls wrong.
Exit polls had been way off the mark in 2004 when most had predicted the return of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government but the UPA had emerged victorious and ruled for 10 years. However, in 2014, Today’s Chanakya had almost hit the bull’s eye with a prediction of 340 seats for the NDA. The BJP-led alliance had won 336 seats in 2014.
Today’s Chanakya has predicted 300 seats for the BJP and 350 for the NDA, 55 seats for the Congress and 95 for the UPA and 97 seats for others.
At least three exit polls — Times Now, Republic TV and India Today — showed the NDA putting up a strong performance in Uttar Pradesh, winning 58, 53 and 62-68 seats respectively out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats.
However, ABP News-Nielsen pegged NDA’s performance in Uttar Pradesh at a dismal 22 — a loss of 50 seats it had won in 2014. It showed the SP-BSP alliance winning 56 seats, and the Congress retaining two seats. Almost all the exit polls showed BJP making big inroads into West Bengal.