The 5th phase of the 2019 Elections is almost over and only two phases remain. The last phase of election will take place on 19th May, and after the end of official voting hours, TV News channels will get busy with exit polls.
Before the actual counting of votes on 23rd of May, the exit poll results will remain the top topic of discussion for the intervening period. In that context, it is perhaps a good time to revisit the Exit Polls that attempted to predict the results of the previous General Election in 2014.
The Exit Polls, then, like so many Opinion Polls in the run-up to the current elections, had predicted the NDA to emerge victorious in the elections. But none of them, with the sole exception of Today’s Chanakya, accurately predicted the extent of the NDA’s victory.
The NDA, eventually, won 336 of the 543 seats and the BJP secured 282 seats on its own. The UPA, on the other hand, won merely 60 and the Congress was reduced to its lowest ever tally of 44.
Results of exit polls conducted after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections
Today’s Chanakya came the closest with its prediction of 291 seats for the BJP and 340 for the NDA, overestimating BJP by 9 and NDA by 4. Others, such as Times Now, fell way short. Times Now predicted 249 for the NDA and vastly overestimated UPA’s numbers.
CVoter and Nielsen, too, made a respectable estimate, although a gross underestimation, with its prediction of 289 and 274 for the NDA respectively. Apart from Chanakya, everyone appears to have predicted the UPA to win somewhere close to 100 seats. That too was an overestimation.
Opinion polls before 2019 Lok Sabha elections were notified
Thus, it’s quite clear that there are vast differences between predictions about seats made in exit polls and actual results, although the exit polls predicted the final outcome of the election mostly correctly. Last time around, Opinion Polls were giving the NDA under 200 seats initially which eventually kept on increasing as the days progressed.
This time around the situation has been a bit different as almost all opinion polls expect the NDA to at least get near the majority mark even if they fail to get past it. Considering the expectations that were defied the last time around and the much surer footing on which BJP began its campaign for 2019, it appears the Modi-Shah duo might again defy expectations.