The results of the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly Elections are pouring in and contrary to what most pollsters predicted in their exit polls, while the saffron alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena is doing well in Maharashtra and looks set to win, Haryana has thrown in a surprise.
Although it’s too early to say, it appears that there could very well be a Hung Assembly in Haryana with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) having an opportunity to play the Kingmaker. Thus, it perhaps is a good time to look back at the Exit Polls and check how accurate they were.
All the major polls had agreed that the NDA was going to win again in Maharashtra. The Times Now gave 230 seats to BJP-Shiv Sena, India Today-Axis polls gave 181 seats to the alliance, News18-IPSOS made the astounding prediction of 243 seats for the alliance, ABP News gave the, 204, TV9 Marathi gave 197 while Republic Jan Ki Baat gave the alliance 223 seats.
On the other hand, the pollsters predicted 81, 41, 69, 48 and 55 respectively for Congress and NCP alliance. It appears while pollsters underestimated the BJP’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections, they massively overestimated that in these assembly elections. However, in Maharashtra, NDA still looks set to win again this time around.
In Haryana, however, it’s a completely different story. While all the pollsters predicted a massive victory for the BJP, it has certainly not been the case. Times Now gave the BJP 71 seats out of total 90, IPSOS gave them 75, ABP News gave them 72, NewsX gave them 75-80! Jan Ki Baat gave them anything between 52-63 while TV-Bharatvarsh gave them 47 which was far more conservative and even that appears to be off-target.
No matter how one looks at it, the currents trends suggest that the BJP is certainly heading for a defeat, and so are the pollsters. Only India Today-My Axis poll can walk out of this with their heads held high. They did predict a Hung Assembly with the BJP predicted to win between 32-44 seats and Congress to win between 30-42 seats. India Today’s predictions stand out in stark contrast to the rest and as current trends suggest, the only ones who got it right.
All in all, the pollsters didn’t have a very good at the office today. It appears they overplayed the ‘non-existent’ opponent card too much. Although it’s certainly true that at the national level, there’s no credible opposition to Prime Minister Modi, however, at the state level, the Opposition continues to wield significant political mileage.