Exit polls: How they have gone wrong in past

Exit polls: How they have gone wrong in past

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 8: Amid hype about 'exit polls' predictions that show BJP struggling hard in Hindi heartland and K Chandrasekhar Rao-led TRS making it comfortably in Telangana, a look back at few old records suggest such predictions have gone wrong and figures went haywire in the past.

In March 2017, for the keenly contested UP elections, average predictions was for BJP making it as single largest party with 193 seats in 404-member Assembly and Congress-Samajwadi alliance 120 and BSP of Mayawati picking up at least 78 seats.

However, on the result day the tally for the saffron party had swelled up to 312 and Congress-Samajwadi tally nosedived to mere 54 and Mayawati-led BSP remained contended with only 19 seats.

That year, the exit polls went wrong in other states too. As against the prediction of 23 seats, the Congress tally in Uttarakhand came down to 11. For BJP - as against the prediction of 43 seats, the tally went up to 57.

Similarly in Punjab, as against prediction of AAP (54 seats), the tally had come down to 20 thus dashing off Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit's prospects in the key northern state - at least for sometime. The Congress finally on the results day won 77 while pollsters had given it only 55. The Akali Dal, which was shown as winning 7, finally retained 15 seats.

In 2013, Madhya Pradesh Exit Polls figures had projected BJP to win 115 seats, but in the ultimate the saffron party tally went to 165 while Congress figures had dropped to 58. The pollsters had claimed that Congress will win 77 seats.

For Rajasthan, the 2013 predictions had given BJP 125 but the saffron party's final tally was 163 and Congress tally as against projections of 55 came down to all time low of 21 seats.

However, for Chhattisgarh, projections were near the target. Pollsters had said BJP and Congress will win 52 and 35 respectively, but on the results day the final figures stood at 49 and 39 respectively.

In parliamentary polls of 2004, most pre-poll surveys predicted BJP (under Atal Bihari Vajpayee's) certain win cashing in on the 'India Shining' campaign.

However, a few exit polls gave UPA an edge. CNN-IBN had given UPA 185-205 seats while the BJP-led NDA was projected to secure 165 to 185 seats.

On the result day, Congress won 145 leaving BJP behind with 138 seats.

The NDA tally could make it to only 186 seats and thus had to make way for Sonia Gandhi-led UPA to take over the reins of power.

In 2014 parliamentary polls, most survey had projected BJP win but said Congress-led UPA would make it around 100 to 120. However, on May 16, 2014 - the day - the final tally left Congress licking its wounds with a mere 44 seats while the NDA scored a major victory with tally well above 300. On its own, BJP alone riding the 'Modi wave' crossed the majority mark of 272.

In 2015 Assembly polls in Bihar, most exit polls predicted a hung Assembly. However, in actual result the Nitish Kumar-led RJD-JDU-Congress managed a convincing victory with Lalu Prasad's RJD making a strong comeback. (UNI)