How accurate are opinion polls and exit polls? By and large in both the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections, they were wildly off the mark. How correct or how wrong have they been this time? Find out for yourself by comparing the actual results with what was predicted…
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance was projected to form the Government at the Centre with exit polls giving between 249 and 290 seats to the Narendra Modi-led grouping, close to the half-way mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was tipped to get between 101 and 148 seats while ‘others’, including regional parties and Left, were projected to get between 146 and 156 seats, according to the polls shown on TV channels at the end of the ninth and last phase of Lok Sabha polls. One of the polls, conducted by Today’s Chanakya for News24 channel, even projected 340 seats for NDA, 70 for UPA and 133 for others. The controversial poll on Times Now, conducted by ORG, predicted that the NDA would get 249 seats while UPA would bag 148 seats and ‘others’ 146 seats.
A poll conducted by CSDS for CNN-IBN gave NDA between 270 and 282 while the UPA was projected to get between 92 and 102. The BJP alone was projected to get between 230 and 242 while Congress was projected to get between 72 and 82 by the same poll. A poll conducted by ITG-Cicero for Headlines Today projected that NDA would get 272 (plus-minus 11), UPA wouldget 115 (plus-minus 5) and ‘others’ 156. C-Voter survey on India TV gave NDA 289 seats and 101 for UPA and 153 for others. In the NDA, 249 seats were projected for BJP and 40 for its allies. In UPA, 78 seats were projected for Cong and 23 for its allies. The ABP News-Nielsen poll projected a clear majority for NDA with 281 seats while UPA was projected to get 97. ‘Others’ were projected to bag 165 seats. The Congress appears to be getting some good news from the South, particularly Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana. Out of 20 seats in Kerala, the Congress-led United Democratic Front was projected to get between 11 and 14 while in Karnataka, the Congress is projected to get nearly half of the 28 seats.
In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK was projected to do well, with one survey giving it even up to 31 out 39 seats. The ruling Trinamool Congress was also said to be doing well in West Bengal with projections saying that it could get upto 31 out of 42 seats. Various polls said BJP was putting up an impressive performance in the battle State of Uttar Pradesh where the party was projected to get over 50 of the 80 seats. ORG gave BJP 52 seats in UP and 10 to Congress. Chanakya gave 70 seats to BJP, while CSDS predicted 45-53 seats for it and C-Voter gave 54 seats in the biggest State. In the other crucial State of Bihar too, the BJP is projected to do well with one channel giving as high as 28 out of 40 seats. In Delhi where seven seats are at stake, an almost clean sweep was predicted by all the polls for BJP. Some surveys gave one or two seats for Aam Aadmi Party. Maharashtra, which has 48 seats, was projected to give over 30 seats to the BJP and Shiv Sena. The BJP was predicted to sweep party-ruled States of Madhya Pradesh,Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP was projected to get more than 35 seats out of 40 in the two states. Rajasthan was projected to give almost all the 25 seats to the BJP.
– Inputs from PTI