2014 Lok Sabha election: Exit polls point to Modi entry in Delhi-Times of India-13.05.2014
Ab ki baar Modi sarkar — that's the unanimous verdict of several exit polls as far as the big picture is concerned, with all of them predicting either that the NDA would get a majority or would get very close to it. The polls also agreed that the BJP would get its highest tally ever — the range varying from a little over 200 to just under 300.
Most polls also predicted that the Congress would be reduced to its lowest ever tally, though one of them, the Times Now-ORG poll, put the party's tally at between 111 and 138 seats, which means it could do better than the 114 seats it got in 1999. Another common factor in the polls was that the AIADMK and Trinamool Congress are likely to emerge as the two largest regional parties with 20 or more seats each.
While broadly agreeing on these trends, the polls were at sharp variance on the details. The Times Now-ORG poll suggested that the NDA would win 249 to 265 seats, which would leave it a little short of a majority though well within striking distance. At the other end of the range, the News 24-Today's Chanakya poll gave the NDA 340 seats, with the BJP alone winning 291 seats. If that comes true, it would be the first time after 1984 that any party would be winning a majority on its own.
The Congress' predicted tally too varies widely from a mere 57 in the News24 poll to a possible 138 in the Times Now poll. At 57, the Congress wouldn't just be reduced to a historic low, it would face its biggest crisis in post-Independence history.
Coming to the wide variance among pollsters, in Bihar, for instance, the Times Now-ORG poll gave the RJD no seats at all and the JD(U) 10 seats, while most other polls projected the RJD-Congress alliance as the primary challenge to the BJP and the JD(U) being squeezed out.
Similarly, in Karnataka, the Headline Today-Cicero poll suggested the Congress had a clear lead over the BJP and would win between 15 and 19 of the state's 28 seats. The News24 poll projected a diametrically opposite outcome with the BJP winning 20 seats in the state.
'Congress will be wiped out in Rajasthan'
In Rajasthan, the Headline Today and News24 polls predicted that the Congress could, at one end of the range of their projections, get completely wiped out, but the Times Now poll predicted that party could win 14 of the 25 seats in the state where it faced a rout in the assembly polls in December.
On AAP, most polls agreed that it would make its presence felt, in Punjab in particular, but yet again there was disagreement on just how well it would do. The News24 poll said the party could emerge as the single largest in Punjab, winning five of the 13 seats while others gave it no seats at all.
Exit polls have gone quite wrong on occasions, including most famously in 2004 when they predicted the NDA would form its third successive government. But they have also got it right on several occasions, including in the latest assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
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