The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to win 18 seats in Karnataka while the Congress can get 7 with 2 seats going to its ally Janata Dal (Secular), according to IANS-CVOTER exit poll.

The vote share of the UPA at 49.3 per cent will be more than the BJP’s 48.3 per cent, but it does not seem to be translating into seats.

For the BJP, it seems to be good news as the party may improve upon the tally of 17 seats it had won in the state in 2014. It is a loss of two seats for the Congress, which had won 9 in 2014 while no change is expected in the strength of JD-S.

The exit poll predictions are a setback to the precariously positioned ruling Congress-JD-S coalition in the state. The BJP, which lost power in the Assembly elections by a whisker, will be back in contention in the state if the exit poll predictions come true.

The projections for Lok Sabha will have ramifications in state politics as the ruling coalition is already under stress. It will give the BJP another chance to move in and exploit the inherent weakness of the ruling alliance to form the government.