The BJP-led NDA is expected to make a comeback, according to the exit polls results that were released after the final phase of voting on Sunday. The UPA, meanwhile, has doubled its numbers since 2014, but is still far from power as BJP holds on to majority in Parliament.
Most of the surveys gave NDA over 300 seats, while Congress-led UPA is expected to settle near 140 seats. Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, the SP-BSP alliance is expected to win 20-40 seats. The BJP is likely to make significant inroads in West Bengal where party chief Amit Shah has reiterated the BJP’s assurance of deporting “infiltrators” if voted to power.
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According to Republic Bharat-Jan ki Baat exit polls, NDA will win more than 300 seats. Times Now-VMR predicted NDA winning 306 and UPA 132 seats.
The Republic CVoter, predicting a win for the NDA, however, puts the number of seats a little below at 287, placing the UPA behind with 128 seats. Meanwhile, the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh is likely to yield 40 seats out of 80 in the state, the pollster predicted.
According to the News Nation exit polls, the NDA will win 282-290 seats while the UPA will claim 124 seats.
In the 2014 elections, the NDA together won 336 seats. The BJP swept all seats in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and virtually won all of Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh (71 out of 80) as well as Bihar with allies.
In Delhi, India TV has predicted all 7 seats for the BJP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won all of these seven seats with a vote share of 46.6 per cent.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is predicted to lose seats with the BJP making inroads in the Eastern state. Republic Bharat-Jan ki Baat has predicted 18-26 seats for the BJP, and 28 for the ruling TMC. In the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC had won 34 seats with a vote share of 39.8 per cent. BJP bagged only 2 seats.
The BJP is predicted to sweep Rajasthan, winning 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats with help of its allies. The Congress’ victory in the state in last year’s assembly elections does not appear to have reflected in the voters’ mood for the national elections. According to Times Now-VMR exit poll, the grand old party is likely to win 4 seats. The BJP had swept the state in 2014, winning all the 25 seats of the state.
In India, however, exit polls have often proved to be unreliable. There have been several instances when they have predicted the verdict of an election incorrectly. For instance, exit polls on the 2004 Lok Sabha polls wrongly predicted the BJP-led NDA coalition winning again, while in 2009 they underestimated Congress-led UPA’s seat share. In 2014, however, most of the exit polls turned out to be accurate with BJP securing a majority of its own.
Over 8,000 candidates are in the fray for the 542 Lok Sabha seats across the country in the Lok Sabha elections. The fate of all political parties in the fray will be decided on May 23 and most importantly it will determine whether the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government can secure a majority of its own for the second time or the Congress-led opposition can stage a surprise comeback.