NEW DELHI — Exit poll predictions for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, which were released after the final phase of polling on Sunday, showed a clear majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the lower house of Parliament.
Multiple exit polls showed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) crossing the 300 mark, indicating that the Narendra Modi-led government will return to power comfortably.
In 2014, the BJP won 282 seats, and the BJP-led NDA captured 336 of the 543 seats in Lok Sabha, well past the halfway mark of 272 seats. Results will be announced on 23 May.
While the BJP has sustained a loss of 20-30 seats in Uttar Pradesh, compared with 2014, according to the exit polls, these early predictions suggest that it has withstood the SP-BSP caste consolidation, which some had said would drastically reduce the BJP to 20-30 seats (the BJP had won 71 out of 80 seats in 2014) in UP.
In West Bengal, which has seen a bitter showdown between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP, the News 18-IPSOS poll has the TMC at 25-28, with the BJP at three to seven seats. The BJP, which has campaigned on Hindutva in WB, was expecting to get at least 20 of the 42 seats in the former bastion of the Left.
The India News-Polstrat poll has BJP winning 14 seats in WB, which is twelve more than it won in 2014, while the Republic-Jan Ki Baat exit poll gives the saffron party anywhere between 18 and 26 seats, with the TMC at 13 to 21 seats.
Exit polls haven’t always managed to forecast election results accurately—most famously, in 2004, they wrongly predicted a victory for the BJP-led NDA, while in 2009, they underestimated the seats won by the Congress-led UPA.
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha has described the 2019 exit poll predictions as ridiculous, almost laughable.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together.”
The Times Now-VMR poll predicted the NDA winning over 306 seats, with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at 132 and others at 104.
The India Today-Axis poll predicted 339-368 seats for the NDA and 77-108 to the UPA.
The News18-IPSOS exit poll showed that the NDA will get 336 Seats and UPA will get 82.
The Republic-Jan Ki Baat exit polls showed the NDA winning 305 seats, while UPA managed 124.
The Republic-C Voter projection showed 287 seats for the NDA and 128 seats for the UPA.
The ABP-Nielsen poll had the NDA at a more modest 267, with the UPA getting 127 seats.
Sudarshan News projected 313 seats for the NDA and 121 for the UPA.
The NDTV Poll of Polls, an average of all the exit polls, has NDA at 300 and the UPA at 127.
In UP, the state which sends 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha, the NDTV Poll of Polls had BJP and its allies at 46, and the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) combine at 32. The Congress has two.
The Times Now-VMR poll had BJP winning 56 seats in UP, with the SP-BSP-RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal) alliance at 20 and the Congress at two.
The Republic-C-Voter exit poll for UP has the SP-BSP-RLD combine at 40, with the BJP getting 38 seats.
In Rajasthan, the Times Now-VMR poll had BJP winning 21 out of the 25 seats, with Congress at four.
In Maharashtra, the NDTV Poll of Polls has the BJP-Shiva Sena combine getting 35 out of 48 seats, with the Congress-NCP getting 12 seats.
The India TV exit poll showed BJP winning all seven seats in Delhi, where the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party kept everyone guessing for weeks whether they would contest together or not.
After a public Twitter spat between Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, both parties announced they would be going it alone.
Editor’s note: This report is being updated.