The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is likely to secure a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha elections, according to most exit polls released on Sunday soon after seven phases of the polling concluded. Votes will be counted on May 23.
The exit polls showed that the BJP is likely to lose seats in comparison to the 282 it managed alone in 2014, but its coalition will have enough to cross the majority mark of 272. The Congress will gain in its tally, but will be far short of what it would need to form a government, the forecasts showed.
An exit poll by Times Now-VMR predicted that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will get 306 seats, while the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance will get 132. Other parties will together manage 104 seats, the exit poll predicted.
According to an exit poll Republic TV-CVoter, the NDA will get 287 seats – 236 of them for the BJP. The UPA is expected to get 128 seats, according to this forecast.
A third exit poll, by News18-IPSOS, has also predicted a comfortable victory for the NDA, with 336 seats, while the Congress-led UPA is likely to lag behind with just 82.
The Jan Ki Baat exit poll pegged 305 seats for the NDA and 124 for the UPA. Nielsen, however, has predicted that the NDA will fall slightly short of a majority, with 267 seats, while the UPA will get 127 seats.
Exit polls by Today’s Chanakya and India Today-Axis My India predicted 350 seats and above for the NDA and fewer than 100 for the UPA.
In the key state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most members to the Lower House, most exit polls predicted more seats for the NDA than for the mahagathbandhan of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Of the 80 constituencies in the state, 51 are likely to go to the NDA and 26 to the mahagathbandhan, according to Jan Ki Baat. Some others predicted 58-20, 61-18 and 65-13 in favour of the BJP. CVoter pegged 38 seats for the BJP-led alliance and 40 for the mahagathbandhan. The Congress is seen getting just two or three seats.
Nielsen’s exit poll has forecast 22 seats for the NDA and 56 for the grand alliance. Another exit poll, by ABP-CSDS, gave the NDA 22 seats and the mahagathbandhan 56.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is likely to get more seats than the BJP-led coalition. Times Now-VMR predicted 28 seats for the TMC and 11 for the NDA, while Jan Ki Baat gave 13 to 21 seats to the Trinamool and 18 to 26 seats to the NDA. CVoter has forecast 11 seats for the NDA and 29 for the Trinamool Congress.
Another exit poll, by India Today-Axis My India, predicted 21 seats each for the Trinamool and the BJP. The state has 42 constituencies.
The polls in the state were marked by violent incidents in all seven phases, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi often trading barbs at each other. The BJP and the Trinamool Congress both accused each other of perpetrating the violence.
In Odisha, where the Biju Janata Dal won all but one seat in 2014, the BJP is likely to make significant gains. CVoter pegged an 11-10 result for the BJD and the BJP, while Nielsen gave them 12-9. Times Now-VMR has forecast 12 seats for the BJP and eight for Biju Janata Dal. Today’s Chanakya and India Today-Axis My India predicted just seven and four seats for the Biju Janata Dal.
The elections began on April 11, with subsequent phases held on April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The voter turnout in the first phase was over 69.62%, while it was 69.44% in the second phase. The third phase saw 68.40% of the voters turning up, and the fourth phase had 65.50%. The voter turnout in the fifth phase of polling was 64.16%, and it was 64.60% in the sixth phase.
The General Elections were held to choose 542 of the 543 members of the Lower House of Parliament. The election for Vellore constituency in Tamil Nadu was cancelled last month.
In the previous elections in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party had emerged victorious with 282 seats – the first time a party managed a majority on its own since 1984, and the first time a non-Congress party won more than half the electorate.