In a game of odds, even the police can't beat the bookies. As the high-stakes BMC elections came to a close, it became clear that the bookmakers had once again got it right, outwitting the police and making the most accurate predictions, especially when it comes to BJP and Shiv Sena.

For the latest on BMC Election Result 2017 click here

As for predicting what the Sena and BJP will do now, all bets are off.

While the police had initially predicted that Sena would easily score a winning margin, bookies had foreseen that it would be a much tighter contest between Sena and BJP.

Number crunching
The Special Branch (SB), the intelligence wing of the city police, in its report to home department last week, had predicted that Sena would likely win nearly 100 seats and BJP would manage to grab a maximum of 65 seats. However, after witnessing the increased voter turnout, the department sent a revised report predicting that Sena might not cross the 100 figure mark while BJP would inch closer to its former ally with 70-75 seats.

Also Read: Will BJP-Shiv Sena be forced to join hands?

Ashish Shelar and Devendra Fadnavis

However, both reports were off the mark. On the other hand, bookies opened betting a week before the election, predicting that Sena may get 90 seats, and BJP, 80 seats. This turned out to be much closer to the final results that came out yesterday – with a margin of -6 seats in the case of Sena and just +2 seats in BJP's case.

Calculating the odds
According to the bookies, the Special Branch has far more manpower and they are also assisted by the local police, who collect the information at the ground level. The SB keeps a close eye on political movement in the city, and keeps tabs on candidates and their activity, and also keeps track of the voters' mood. This time, they also took in to account the impact of demonetisation.

Uddhav Thackeray

On the other hand, the bookmakers' network relies purely on underground information from political leaders and local informers, such as punters, journalists and cops.

"The police have another plus point while compiling their data – post elections, they get accurate figures of voting percentages across the city. This helps them to ascertain more accurate figures. Like for instance, if voting in Gujarati-dominated areas like Vile Parle and Ghatkopar is less, then there are chances that BJP would win less seats," explained a bookie.

As for predicting what the Sena and BJP will do now, all bets are off.