Pollsters give BJP and allies more than 300 seats, but are divided over which way UP will swing
Kaun banega PM? Pic/PTI
As the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls came to an end on Sunday with a 64 per cent turn out, almost all exit polls forecast a majority for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). However, a number of exit polls predicted big losses for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where it had won 71 seats in 2014, but the saffron party appeared to make major gains in other states. Today's Chanakya predicted a sweeping victory for the BJP and its allies.
It gave NDA 340 seats, just 70 seats to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and 133 to 'Others'. Times Now-VMR gave the NDA 306 seats, while they projected 132 for the Congress-led UPA and 104 for 'Others'. The Republic TV-CVoter exit poll has forecast 287, 128 and 127 seats for the NDA, UPA and 'Others', respectively. Polls to 542 seats of the Lok Sabha ended Sunday. The majority mark is 272.
News Nation forecast that the NDA will win 282-290 seats while the UPA will get about 118-126 seats and 'Others' 130. The exit polls of ABP-AC Nielsen predicted 267 seats for NDA, 127 for UPA and 148 for 'Others'.
News 18-IPSOS also predicted a majority for the NDA with 336 seats. It gave UPA and 'Others' 82 and 124, respectively. However, Neta-News X predicted that NDA could fall short of the majority and win 242 seats. It gave the UPA 164 seats and Others 131.
Many exit polls predicted that SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh is likely to trump the BJP in the country's politically most crucial state. The BJP had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two of its 80 seats in 2014.
The CVoter-Republic forecast gave the grand alliance in UP 40 seats against 38 for the NDA, while the Jan Ki Baat said the NDA may win 46-57 seats against 15-29 of the SP-BSP combine. ABP News predicted a huge loss for the BJP in the state, saying it may win only 22 seats while the opposition alliance may emerge victorious in 56 constituencies.
In West Bengal, CVoter-Republic and ABP said the BJP may win 11 and 16 (of the 42 seats) respectively, a big improvement on its tally of two in 2014. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed the exit polls as a "gossip" and a gameplan to "replace" EVMs. "I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together," she tweeted.
News channel ABP said that the BJP in Odisha may win nine seats. It had won only one in 2014. Exit polls in the country have had mixed record on accuracy and quite often their projections have been way off the actual results. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
64% turnout in last phase, Bengal tops chart
An estimated voter turnout of 64 per cent was recorded till 7 pm in 59 constituencies in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, the Election Commission said. The highest voter turnout of 73.51 per cent was registered in West Bengal while the lowest at 53.55 per cent was in Bihar, the EC data till 7 pm said.
In Jharkhand, the polling percentage was 70.54 followed by Madhya Pradesh (71.15 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (71 per cent), Chandigarh (64 per cent), Punjab (64.45 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (57.09 per cent). A total of 59 constituencies went to poll in the last phase of 2019 general elections. Meanwhile, the TMC and Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has written to the EC seeking action against the telecast of PM Narendra Modi's visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples, even as the last and final phase of voting in the general elections was underway on Sunday. The TDP said the PM's action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct and influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.