As the country dissects the exit polls predicting that the NDA will come back to power, a look at the pollsters’ 2014 prediction shows that they got the trend right, but not the scale of victory for the BJP-led alliance.
Pollsters did not fare well in 2004 and 2009 with a majority of them getting it wrong. In 2004, the UPA unseated Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA, contrary to what most exit polls predicted, while in 2009 most exit polls forecast a close fight between the NDA and the incumbent UPA, but the latter bettered its previous tally.
Out of the seven main pollsters in 2014, the News24-Chanakya proved to be the most accurate, predicting 340 seats for the NDA which eventually won 336 seats.
The India TV-C Voter exit poll gave a simple majority to the NDA, predicting 289 seats, while ABP Nielson and CNN-IBN CSDS gave 281 and 280 seats respectively to the NDA.
Headlines Today Cicero predicted 272 seats for the NDA, NDTV predicted 279 and Times Now-ORG forecast 249 seats.
For the UPA, Chanakya predicted 70 seats in 2014 which was the closest to the 59 seats that the Congress-led alliance got.
The India TV-C Voter exit poll gave 101 to the UPA, while ABP Nielson and CNN-IBN CSDS gave 97 seats to the Congress-led alliance.
Headlines Today Cicero predicted 115 seats for the UPA, NDTV predicted 103, and Times Now-ORG forecast 148 seats.
The 2014 polls could not predict the scale of the NDA win, but nearly all of them had got the trend right.
This time round as well, almost all exit polls have predicted a clear win for the NDA and the only variation between different pollsters is on the scale of NDA win.
Exit polls by News 18-Ipsos, India Today-Axis and News 24-Chanakya projected 336, 339-368 and 336-364 seats respectively for the NDA, with the BJP tipped to cross the majority on its own for another term after the 2014 polls.
However, two exit polls — one by ABP News-Nielsen and another by Neta-News X — said the ruling alliance may fall short of a majority. ABP News forecast 267 and NewsX 242 seats for the ruling NDA.
How close they get to the actual figure will only become clear on May 23.
Elections to 542 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha ended Sunday. The Election Commission has deferred election for Vellore in Tamil Nadu over allegations of misuse of money power.
The counting of votes is slated for May 23.