How exit polls failed to gauge the extent of BJP victories in UP, Uttarakhand | assembly-elections$uttarpradesh-2017 | Hindustan Times
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How exit polls failed to gauge the extent of BJP victories in UP, Uttarakhand

The BJP on Saturday surpassed even the most favourable forecasts made by pollsters on the Uttar Pradesh elections, securing 325 seats in the state’s 403-member assembly.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 12, 2017 12:52 IST
Rahul Singh
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s Uttar Pradesh victory in New Delhi on Saturday.
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s Uttar Pradesh victory in New Delhi on Saturday. (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

The BJP on Saturday surpassed even the most favourable forecasts made by pollsters on the Uttar Pradesh elections, securing 325 seats in the state’s 403-member assembly.

A majority of the exit polls predicted that the BJP would emerge as the single-largest party in the state, but only the data collated by News 24-Chanakya came closest to capturing the magnitude of its victory. The survey said the BJP would bag 285 (+/-15) seats.

India Today-Axis also predicted a majority for the BJP, pegging the party’s score at 251-259 seats. Some other surveys were way off the mark: Times Now-VMR data gave BJP 190-210 seats, NewsX-MRC predicted 185 seats, and ABP-CSDS said the BJP would get 164-176 seats in the 403-member UP legislature.

The News 24-Chanakya survey was also right about the BSP’s virtual decimation in the state; it forecast that the party’s fortunes would nosedive with 27 (+/-12) seats. The BSP managed to win only 19. India Today-Axis predicted the BSP’s poor performance too, granting it 28-42 seats.

However, the exit polls expected the SP to perform better. While the party won only 47 seats, exit poll data predicted it would get anywhere between 88 (+/-15) (News 24-Chanakya) and 155-169 seats (ABP-CSDS survey).

In Punjab, where the Congress won 77 constituencies, the India Today-Axis survey made the closest prediction – giving the party a tally of 62-71 seats. Going by the exit polls, AAP’s score should have been far more impressive than the 20 seats it bagged. India TV-C Voter had predicted the party would end up with 59-67 seats, compared to the forecast of 54 (+/-9) by News 24-Chanakya.

The exit polls predicted a victory for BJP in Uttarakhand, where the party won 57 seats. News 24-Chanakya’s forecast of 53 (+/-7) turned out to be the closest while India Today-C Voter’s survey was way off the mark with a forecast of 29-35 seats.

The exit polls didn’t get the Goa results right, predicting that the BJP’s tally would be higher than that of the Congress. The Congress ended up with 17 seats as against the BJP’s 13. The India Today-Axis data had predicted 18-22 seats for the BJP and 9-13 for the Congress in the 40-member assembly. Similarly, the ABP-CSDS survey gave the BJP an edge with 16-22 seats, putting Congress in the second place with 10-16 seats.

The Congress party’s performance was impressive in Manipur, where it won 28 seats – putting the BJP in second place with 21 seats. The India-Today Axis survey predicted a Congress victory with 30-36 seats, forecasting 16-22 seats for the BJP in the 60-member assembly. India TV-C Voter predicted that the BJP would bag 25-31 seats, placing Congress in the second place with 17-23 seats.