Ahead of the counting of votes on Saturday, exit poll gurus declared their state-wise seat predictions for Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Thursday inviting mixed reaction by parties. While the ruling SAD government in Punjab — which is headed for a complete uproot according to predictions — said exit polls are “unreliable and without any rationale”, parties like BJP are particularly upbeat about the numbers which predict their win. Psephologists have predicted a win for BJP in UP — a state which is considered to be fairly important for its stakes in the national political scenario.
Watch Video | Exit Polls 2017: BJP Confident, Congress Predicts Close Fight
Here’s a look into how the ‘polls on polls’ fared during the last Assembly elections in these states:
Uttar Pradesh 2012: Exit poll for 2012 Assembly elections had indicated Mayawati’s uproot but were mostly off the mark on the number of seats. While STAR News-Nielsen predicted 183 seats for the Samajwadi Party, BSP’s share stood at 83, BJP’s 71 and Congress-Rashtriya Dal alliance were likely to get 71 seats. CNN-IBN predicted 232-250 seats for SP and 65-70 for Mayawati led BSP. It had also predicted 28-28 seats for BJP. Aaj Tak’s prediction gave 195-210 seats for SP and 88-98 for BSP.
The results saw SP swooping 224 seats, BSP managing 80 seats and BJP winning 47 seats. The Congress RLD alliance won 28+9 seats.
Punjab 2012: If exit polls were to be believed, Congress would have won the state elections in 2012. While CNN-IBN had predicted 60 seats for the party and 51-63 seats for SAD-BJP, News 24-Chanakya poll also predicted 60 seats for Congress and 52 for the SAD-BJP alliance. The India TV-C Voter figures had also given a clear edge to Congress predicting 65 seats in the 117 member house. The election results, however, went against all predictions.
While the SAD-BJP alliance formed the government with 68 seats, Congress had won 46 seats.
Uttarakhand 2012: Exit polls had predicted a neck to neck fight between the Congress and the BJP in Uttarakhand — a state which had rejected two incumbent governments in the two elections held since its creation.
The predictions were dramatically correct as Congress won one seat more than BJP. While BJP managed to win 31 seats, Congress won 32 and with the support of BSP’s 3 candidates, it formed the government in 2012.
Goa 2012: In the 40-member Assembly, psephologists had said BJP would win half the seats and Congress would finish off second. Exit poll projections showed BJP was expected to win 18-22 seats while Congress could get 15-19 seats.
Results? While BJP won 21 seats, Congress showed a dismal performance by winning 9 seats.
Manipur 2012: While exit polls showed Congress would return to power in the state, they were largely mistaken on the numbers. It was being projected that Congress was likely to bag 23-27 seats in the 60-member house. While CNN-IBN-The Week predicted 24-32 seats for the party, New24-Today’s Chanakya polls indicated Congress would win 25 seats.
The Congress had won 42 seats
2017 Exit Polls
This time around, at least five exit polls predicted that BJP would emerge as the single largest party in the Uttar Pradesh elections and may even come close to the magic figure in a 403-member House. The SP-Congress alliance was shown to be at the No. 2 spot. Chanakya-News24 predicted that BJP may get more than 250 seats and the alliance would nestle at the second spot with less than 100 seats. The BSP, which was being considered as a dark horse in the race, may have less than 100 seats, as per predictions. India TV and ABP News gave the alliance around 145-160 seats. Times Now and India News predicted that SP-Congress alliance may win close to 120 seats.
Exit polls seem to have consensus over Punjab with all of them predicting a change of government. Four polls gave the ruling SAD-BJP alliance less than 10 seats. Two predicted a tight contest between Congress and AAP, indicating they may win 50 seats each. While India Today said the SAD-BJP alliance may get a minimum of 4 but a maximum of 7 seats, it gave away 71 seats to Congress and a maximum of 51 seats to AAP.
While News24 and India Today predicted 53 seats for BJP in Uttarakhand, India News projected 38 seats. India TV said both the parties were likely to win and the numbers would be within the range of 29-35. India News gave the Congress 30 seats.
In Goa, India TV and India Today said BJP may win a maximum of 22 seats, but India TV gave Congress a chance of winning up to 18 seats. The AAP, according to the exit polls, may get less than 6 seats in Goa.
As far as Manipur is concerned, India TV predicted that the BJP was likely to win 25-31 seats. For Congress, it showed 17-23 seats. India Today predicted Congress win by speculating 30-36 seats for the Congress and 16-22 for BJP.