Assembly Elections: Exit Polls Predict Big Jolt to BJP

New Delhi: If the exit polls are to be believed, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be staring at massive defeats at the hands of the Congress in the recently-concluded assembly polls in five states.

Soon after polling ended on December 7 at 5 pm, the exit polls by various agencies started coming in. Five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram – voted to elect their next government.

Among these, the first three are ruled by the BJP while the Telangana and Mizoram governments are currently in the hands of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Congress.

The polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are almost a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP. In Telangana, the TRS is looking to serve another term but is facing stiff resistance from the Congress-led alliance with the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India, and Telangana Jana Samithi.

In Mizoram, the Lal Thanhawla-led Congress government is fighting strong anti-incumbency. The two opposition parties, Mizo National Front (MNF) and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNF), are looking to upstage the Congress.

All exit polls unanimously predicted a Congress victory in Rajasthan. The largest state in India in terms of area has always voted its government out of power after one term, at least in the last few decades. In 2018, the state appears set to repeat the trend.

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both of which have elected BJP governments for three consecutive terms, seem to be headed for a photo finish. The results that different exit poll agencies threw up appeared inconclusive as the difference between the Congress and BJP is really close, both in terms of vote share and seats.

However, the Congress can derive confidence from the fact that in all the surveys, the party vote share has significantly gone up compared to its 2013 figure.

TRS expected to retain Telangana

The TRS looks set to serve another term in Telangana, if exit polls are to be believed. Things had heated up in the state because of a spirited fight the Congress-led alliance or Prajakutami put up against the TRS. The TRS was so confident of a win that it dissolved the assembly nine months before its tenure’s scheduled expiry, forcing early elections in the state.

However, the TRS will keep its fingers crossed, as the margin of its victory is likely to be low. In most polls, the Congress is shown to be finishing a close second. Despite an aggressive campaign, the BJP remains a non-starter in the southern state.

In Mizoram, the exit polls predicted either a hung assembly or gave a slight advantage to the MNF. The Congress will, thus, be worried.

The Wire has collated the exit polls from various agencies. Take a look.

Rajasthan (200 seats)

BJP Congress Others
C Voter 52-68 129-145 05-11
India Today-Axis 55-72 119-141 04-11
ABP-CSDS 83 101 15
Today’s Chanakya 68 123 08
Times Now-CNX 85 105 09
News X-NETA 80 112 07
Madhya Pradesh (230)

BJP Congress Others
C Voter 98 108 14
India Today-Axis 111 113 06
ABP-CSDS 94 126 10
Today’s Chanakya 103 125 02
Times Now-CNX 126 89 15
News X-NETA 106 112 12
Chhattisgarh (90)

BJP Congress Others
C Voter 39 46 05
India Today-Axis 26 60 04
ABP-CSDS 52 35 03
Today’s Chanakya 36 50 04
Times Now-CNX 46 35 09
News X-NETA 43 40 07
Telangana (119)

BJP Congress+ TRS Others
C Voter 05 47-59 48-60 01-13
India Today-Axis 01-03 21-33 79-91 04-07
Times Now-CNX 07 37 66 09
News X-NETA 06 46 57 10

Mizoram (40)

MNF Congress Others (including ZPM)
C Voter 16-20 14-18 03-10
India Today-Axis 16-22 08-12 09-16
Times Now-CNX 18 16 06