BJP to keep UP, Uttarakhand; AAP to win Punjab; tight race in Goa: New exit poll
2022 Assembly elections exit polls: UP, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand voted in February-March, with Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh among those set to vote later this year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is set for a big win in Uttar Pradesh and the Aam Aadmi Party will romp to victory over the ruling Congress in Punjab, according to exit poll data released by Lokniti-CSDS on Wednesday morning. The Lokniti exit poll also predicts victory for the BJP in Goa and Uttarakhand, although it warns of a tight race in the latter state.
The Lokniti poll findings echo those by India Today-Axis My India, Times Now-Veto, Republic P-Marq, ABP-CVoter, and News24-Today's Chanakya, all of which have handed the BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur, given Punjab to the AAP, and predicted a close fight in Goa.
According to the Lokniti-CSDS exit poll, the BJP will secure a 43 per cent of the voteshare (sample size of around 7,000), with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party grabbing 35 per cent.
The Congress and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party will have to settle for 3 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, with the rest going to smaller parties and independent candidates.
The predicted 43 per cent voteshare for the BJP is an increase of around 4 per cent from 2017, in which the party won 312 of the UP Assembly's 403 seats. The margin of error is 3 per cent.
It is also big because this election was held against the backdrop of (what was seen as) popular resentment against the ruling party in the context of farmers' protests and the Lakhimpur Kheri deaths, and rising prices and unemployment.
Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party hopes to capitalise on this and return to power, but the exit polls suggest UP voters remain firmly in the BJP's camp - significant also because the state is central to the its bid for an unprecedented third successive Lok Sabha win in 2024.
UP sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha - the most of any state.
FULL COVERAGE: 2022 Assembly elections
Meanwhile, over in Punjab, Lokiniti-CSDS predicts a win for Kejriwal and his AAP, who seem to have capitalised on infighting within the Congress and a lack of serious alternatives for voters to register its first win outside Delhi.
Lokniti gives the AAP 40 per cent of the vote share (sample size of 4,668), with the Congress slumping to 26 per cent from 38.5 per cent in 2017.
The Akalis will get 20 per cent, with the BJP and others coming in at an estimated 7 per cent. There is a 4 per cent margin of error.
The predictions are similar to those by the other exit polls, all of which give the AAP a big win and expect the Congress and Akalis to fight it out for second.
Goa is closer than indicated- BJP to get 32 per cent of the voteshare and the Congress 29 per cent - given the high margin of error of 6 per cent.
A hung assembly is possible in the coastal state and Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool (14 per cent vote share) leads the list of other parties that will all have a key role to play in deciding the next government.
Over in Uttarakhand, Lokniti has more good news for the BJP - 43 per cent of the voteshare to the Congress' 38 per cent, indicating the party is set to return. The margin of error is only 3 per cent, which means the BJP should win easily.
The fifth state that voted in February-March is Manipur, and while Lokniti-CSDS doesn't have a prediction here, exit polls by other agencies agree that the BJP should win this easily too.
Counting of votes for all five elections will begin 8 am tomorrow.
Health warning: Exit polls often get it wrong.