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Find out which Exit Poll got the Gujarat electoral predictions absolutely spot on

The counting of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections began on tumultuous note with the Sensex tanking almost 800 point during the initial counting. The initial trends showed a neck to neck fight between the Congress and the BJP in Gujarat, with the Congress leading in the Saurashtra-Kutch region and BJP holding fort in south Gujarat.

Since then, the momentum has more than swung in the BJP’s favour, with the party comfortably expected to bag about 102 out of 182 seats in Gujarat. This meant that the party comfortably managed to cross the majority mark of 92 in the state. The Congress seems to be coming a distant second by possibly bagging 75 seats.

Apart from the actual results, the vote share too emerged as a big story with the BJP notching an impressive 49.2% vote share, as per latest trends.

One of the most intriguing aspects during the buildup to every electoral counting are the exit polls and this Gujarat election was no different. Various polling agencies collaborated with prominent media houses or even put up solo exit poll projections:

Exit Poll Projections BJP seats Congress seats Others
Axis-India Today99-11368-82-
VMR-Times Now108-11861-710-3
Today's Chanakya135 (+-11)47 (+-11)-
Nirmana TV (Gujarati)104744

As seen above, all the exit polls projected the BJP to get a majority in the state and seem to be getting proven right on that count. But making a broad prediction is one thing and being accurate is another. So which Exit Poll got it absolutely right in Gujarat or came the closest in getting it right?

These are the latest electoral figures from the Election Commission for the state of Gujarat (During the publication of the article):

Latest election trends based on Election Commission’s website taken at 13:41 PM on 17th December 

As per the above data, the BJP has won 11 seats and is leading on 91 others which totals to a domination on 101 seats. The Congress on the other hand has won nine seats and is leading on 66 others. The others are dominating on five seats.

Based on this data, one notices that the Axis-India Today poll got the projection right considering it estimated the BJP seats to fall under the range of 99 to 113 and the Congress to win about 68-82 seats. Predicting a range is a very convenient way to project situations but the median of its projection turns out to be, 106 seats for the BJP and 75 seats for the Congress.

This means that Nirmani TV, which is a local channel in Gujarat, holistically seems to be coming the closest by projecting 104 seats for the BJP, 74 for the Congress and four for others. Tv9-CVoter too came close with its projections by predicting 108 seats for the BJP.

Coming to the other exit polls, Today’s Chanakya seems to be getting its projection of 135 seats grossly wrong and even ABP-CSDS, Republic-JanKiBaat missed their projection margins.

Another interesting story of the exit polls was the sudden projection of 117 seats for the BJP made by ABP-CSDS. CSDS earlier in collaboration with Lokniti and ABP had projected a vote share of 43% each for the Congress and the BJP, which is a far cry from the current 49.2% vote share which is BJP is bagging.

Overall, one might call it a better performance for the exit polls as compared to the Uttar Pradesh elections where all the exit polls got amply it wrong with only News24-Chanakya coming closest by predicting 285 seats for the BJP. The BJP ended up winning 312 seats in the state…

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Hemant Bijapurkar
Contributor at OpIndia.com, Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

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