Exit polls suggest third term for NDA  

The most striking takeaways from the exit polls were the massive gains made by the BJP in West Bengal and Odisha, and their emergence in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh…reports Asian Lite News

All major exit polls projected a resounding victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections that concluded on Saturday. According to their projections, the BJP itself is expected to better its 2019 tally of 303 seats and together with allies may even come close to realising its call of “ab ki baar, 400 paar”.

The most striking takeaways from the exit polls were the massive gains made by the BJP in West Bengal and Odisha, and their emergence in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. While they are projected to consolidate their position in Telangana, they are expected to hold on in Karnataka.

It is in Maharashtra and some northern states that the NDA juggernaut is projected to slow down. Exit polls predict that in Maharashtra, the NDA tally of 41 seats in the 2019 polls may come down by as many as 10 seats, but without any big loss to BJP itself. And the Congress-led INDIA bloc is projected to gain in Bihar, Rajasthan and Haryana.

In West Bengal, where the BJP fought a pitched battle with the Trinamool Congress for its 42 seats, exit polls projected anywhere between 21 and 30 seats for the saffron party. While the ABP-CVoter gave the BJP 23-27 seats, India Today-My Axis gave it 26-31 seats. In Odisha, while ABP-CVoter gave the BJP 17-19 seats, India Today-My Axis predicted a clean sweep with 18-20 seats to the BJP.

In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, most exit polls predicted between one and four seats for the BJP. Both India Today-My Axis and ABP-CVoter gave NDA 2-4 seats in Tamil Nadu and between one and three seats in Kerala. In Andhra Pradesh, with 25 seats, the NDA is projected to sweep the polls; YSRCP’s 2019 tally is predicted to fall from 22 to just between 2 and 4 seats. All exit polls predicted huge gain for the TDP with its ally BJP also gaining between four and six seats. In Telangana, too, BJP is expected to improve its tally.

Importantly, in Karnataka, where it recently lost the Assembly polls, the BJP has been able to hold on with minimum losses, according to exit polls. The party had won 25 of 28 seats in 2019. Most exit polls predicted anywhere between 18 and 25 seats for the BJP.

The trend is significant with the BJP having made significant efforts in the last 10 years to make inroads in the southern states, particularly Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to New Delhi after meditating for two days at the Vivekananda Rock in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

While in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is expected to improve marginally its 2019 tally of 62; in Bihar, the BJP-JDU combine is expected to lose 6-7 seats, according to exit polls. In Rajasthan, where the BJP has been winning all 25 seats in the past two elections, the INDIA alliance is predicted to make gains of 5-7 seats.

Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are expected to be a clean sweep for the BJP though.

In their overall projection, India-Today-My Axis poll and Today’s Chanakya took the NDA tally to over 400 seats with My Axis predicting 322-340 seats for the BJP and 60-75 seats for the Congress. Axis projected INDIA alliance to get 131-166 seats while Chanakya predicted it to be between 96 and 118.

ABP-CVoter gave NDA 353-383 seats and INDIA 152-182 seats. Jan Ki Baat estimated the ruling alliance may win between 362 seats and 392 seats. The same exit poll estimated 141-161 seats for the INDIA bloc.

INDIA News-D-Dynamics estimated 371 seats for NDA and 125 seats for INDIA alliance. Republic TV-P-Marq poll estimated 359 seats for NDA and 154 seats for the INDIA alliance. Another exit poll of Republic Bharat-Matrize estimated 353-368 seats for NDA and 118-133 seats for INDIA.

The Poll of Polls by television channel NDTV estimated that the BJP-led NDA is getting 358 seats and INDIA alliance getting 148 seats; other parties are protected to get 37 seats.

In 2019, an average of 13 exit polls put the BJP-led NDA’s combined tally at 306 and the Congress-led UPA’s at 120 –underestimating the NDA’s performance, which won 353 seats in all. The UPA got 93. Of these, the BJP won 303, and the Congress 52. Both BJP and Congress had improved their tally in comparison to 2014. However, BJP recorded an increase higher than Congress despite anti-incumbency against candidates on various seats.

In 2014, an average of eight exit polls estimated the BJP-led NDA winning 283 seats and the Congress-led UPA 105 seats. However, riding high on ‘Modi wave’ NDA finished with 336 seats and the UPA got mere 60 seats. Of these, the BJP won 282 and the Congress 44. NDA replaced UPA at the Centre.

In 2009 too, when the UPA came back to power, an average of four exit polls had underestimated the winner’s tally. They gave 195 seats to the UPA and 185 to the NDA. The UPA finally won with 262 seats, the NDA got restricted to 158. Of these, the Congress won 206 seats and the BJP 116.

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