Pollsters leave political parties guessing
It may be premature for political parties to either uncork the bubbly or sink into depression over bleak forecasts. Pollsters in the past have frequently ended up with egg on their face, including in Bihar and Delhi in 2015. Some of the polls predicted ranges of seats while others gave an absolute number without mentioning any error margin.
If exit polls are to be believed Uttar Pradesh stares at the prospect of a hung Assembly, as most pollsters predict considerable gains here for the BJP but not an outright majority needed to form the government.
ABP's exit poll projects the BJP will bag as many as 185 seats of the 403 Assembly seats. Even though this represents a big gain from 2012, when it won a mere 47 seats, the BJP will still fall 16 seats adrift of a majority.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) - Congress alliance is expected to get just 120 seats, down from the 252 seats the SP won in the 2012 elections, ABP's poll says. The BSP is expected to have performed slightly better than in 2012, winning 90 seats, up from 80 in 2012.
Like ABP, the NewsX-MRC exit poll also projects the BJP will win 185 seats. The SP-Congress alliance is projected to win 120 seats, while the BSP is expected to win 90 seats.
India Today and India News exit polls seem to suggest the SP-Congress alliance will get 120 seats, the BJP will win 185 and the BSP 90.
CVoter is a tad more conservative, giving the BJP between 155 and 167 seats. It projects the SP-Congress combine will win between 135 and 147 seats, with the BSP grabbing between 81 and 93 seats.
Times Now exit poll gives the BJP a clear edge, saying it will win between 190 and 210 seats in Uttar Pradesh; 201 seats will obviously give the BJP a majority. Times Now expects the SP-Congress alliance to win between 110 and 130 seats, while the BSP may get anywhere between 54 and 74 seats, it says.
VMR exit poll predicts as many as 200 seats for the BJP, 120 for the SP-Congress alliance and 64 for the BSP.
In Punjab, all exit polls were unanimous in predicting that the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine was heading for an inglorious exit.
But the polls were divided on whether the Congress or the Aam Aadmi Party, which is fighting its debut assembly election in the state, will form the next government. Two exit polls predicted a photo finish while two other were split between the Congress and the AAP in the 117-member assembly. The halfway mark is 59.
In Uttarakhand, the BJP looked set to dislodge the Congress as three out of four exit polls gave a clear majority to the saffron party. One poll forecast a neck and neck fight in the 70-member legislature.
Two exit polls suggested that the BJP could retain power in Goa. The AAP, which ran a high-voltage campaign in its debut outing in the state, was seen as failing to have had an impact in the 40-member assembly.
The Congress appeared to be on its way to losing power in Manipur as well, with India TV-C Voter – the only available exit poll so far — saying the BJP will emerge as the single-largest party in the 60-member house.