The Exit Polls for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections are in and the NDA appears set for a resounding victory. While the majority of the pollsters have pegged the NDA to secure around 300 seats, we have good reason to believe that the BJP alone may touch that figure.
Now, let us dig a little deeper into how the BJP may increase upon its tally from 2014. We will be focusing our attention on three states: West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. It is expected that the BJP will lose quite a few seats in Uttar Pradesh and is expected to compensate for them in Odisha and Bengal. In 2014, the BJP had won a combined 76 from these 3 states.
In Odisha, the pollsters expect the BJP to increase its tally significantly from 1 in 2014. Today’s Chanakya gives the BJP 14 +/- 3 seats, CVoter gives the saffron party 10, Jan Ki Baat gives them 11-13 while India Today predicts the BJP to win between 15-19 seats. Times Now-VMR gives the BJP 12 seats.
In West Bengal, it is a similar story for the BJP. The BJP had managed to win only 2 seats in 2014 but this time around, it appears set to take its tally to double digits. CVoter gives the BJP 11 in West Bengal while Jan ki Baat gives them 18-26 seats. Today’s Chanakya gives the BJP 18 +/- 8 seats and Times Now-VMR 11.
Uttar Pradesh is the state where the BJP is expected to lose a few seats due to the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. The Congress, too, has tried to act as a ‘Vote-Katua’ in the state against the BJP. It is in Uttar Pradesh that there’s significant difference between the pollster’s predictions.
The predicted numbers for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh range from 38 by CVoter to the base figure of 65 by Today’s Chanakya. India Today, too, predicts the BJP to win between 62-68 seats.
For the purposes of speculation, since Today’s Chanakya was the most accurate the last time around, it is pertinent to calculate the total number of seats the BJP could possibly win from the three states based on their speculations.
If we are to take the base numbers for the BJP in each of these states as predicted by Today’s Chanakya, then the party could win 97 seats from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha in 2019. It is important to remember that the BJP had won 76 seats from these states the last time around. Thus, there could be a net possible gain of 21 seats for the party here. If we are to take the best case scenario, again as per Today’s Chanakya, then the BJP could win 116 seats from the three states which translates into a net gain of 40.
If we speculate in the same manner with minimum and maximum seats predicted by India Today for the BJP in these three states, then it turns out to be a minimum of 96 seats and a maximum of 110 seats, that is a net gain of a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 34 seats.
Thus, we can see evidence that the losses the BJP is expected to suffer in Uttar Pradesh could very well be overcompensated for by its gains in West Bengal and Odisha. Although the best case scenario may be too good for the BJP to expect, it could still look at a net gain of 10 or 15 very credible.
There are other states such as Karnataka and Kerala where the BJP is expected to increase its tally from last time around. The North East too is a place where the BJP is expected to make gains. Combined with the tendency of pollsters to underestimate the vote-share of right-wing parties, the BJP could very well be looking at 300 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.