Punjab is the only state in which a BJP loss has been unanimously predicted.
As exit poll predictions started coming in on Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party clearly seemed ahead in at least four of the five states in which assembly elections were held between February 4 and March 8. Punjab is the only state for which various exit polls have unanimously predicted a BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) loss. However, while the BJP is in the lead, by and large polls are predicting a hung house scenario in all states.
It was, however, unclear which methodology the various agencies followed to reach the results as the Bombay high court had refused to interfere with the Election Commission’s clear ban on not just the dissemination but the very conduct of exit polls during the election’s multiple phases, which ended March 8. Several agencies predicted results for all the five states but preferred to call them “post-poll surveys.”
Here is what the figures say.
No party is likely to get a clear majority. But most surveys have concluded that BJP+ is likely to emerge as the single largest political front, followed by the Samajwadi Party-Congress combine and the Bahujan Samaj Party at a distant third position.
While BJP+ is expected to get anywhere between 160-190 seats, the SP-Congress is likely to get stuck at 110-130. Each poll predicted a less than 100 figure for the BSP.
In the 403-member assembly, a hung assembly means days of political instability even after the results are announced.
Nearly all exit polls concluded that the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance will likely face a rout in the 117-member assembly. There is possibility of a hung assembly in Punjab too, as many polls predicted a neck and neck competition between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.
If we go by the exit polls, Congress had a minor advantage and could get 55-65 seats whereas AAP is projected to win anywhere between 42-55 seats. Any small swing can turn the results either way.
However, all the polls kept Akali-BJP combine on a single digit figure, anywhere between four to nine seats.
Although exit polls predicted different results for the state, an average shows that Congress led by the chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh is likely to win and stop the BJP surge in the state.
While the BJP could get between 17-25 seats, Congress can get anywhere between 25-35 seats. The total number of seats in Manipur assembly is 60. Thus, a hung assembly cannot be ruled out here as well.
The elections to the 70-seat legislature in the hilly state saw a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress. The majority of exit polls show BJP surging and likely to get a clear majority.
While two polls gave the BJP a massive majority with at least 46 seats, the maximum a poll gave was 56. Congress could get between 15-30 seats. While Harish Rawat remains a popular chief minister, BJP’s surge nationally may have helped the party, exit polls say.
Goa too can be headed for a hung house with polls giving clear majority to none of the parties. However, most polls showed that BJP could emerge as the single largest party, followed by Congress and AAP in the second and third places.
In the 40-member legislative assembly, BJP could get between 15 and 21 seats. Congress, on the other hand, may get 10-15 seats while AAP may get restricted to only four seats despite a forceful campaign.
The actual results will be announced on March 11. The Wire will be discussing the results with eminent panelists and will beam minute-by-minute developments as the results come.