Exit Polls Predict Gains For BJP in UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa; Rout in Punjab

Assembly Elections Exit Polls-2017

Between the voting and final election results being announced, the most exciting and sought after events are the exit polls. These polls elicit controversy, heated debate and generate diverse opinions from experts covering the entire political spectrum.

Exit polls for five states – Uttar Pradesh (UP), Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – have just been released and most are unanimous that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going to bag four states while facing a rout in Punjab.

A word of caution is in order here, as exit polls are notorious for their predictions which, very often, have proven to be way off the mark. Bihar and Delhi assembly elections in 2015 being a case in point when the results exposed the unreliability of poll predictions.

One will have to wait until March 11, 2017, to know the actual winners and losers of the 2017 elections in these five states; but in the meanwhile, let’s analyse the exit poll predictions as they stand.

Elections Exit Polls 2017

Uttar Pradesh – 403 seats

What’s at stake

India’s largest state, UP, is also its most important, politically. There is an old saying that whosoever wins UP will influence national politics. There may be some truth in that, and so for BJP, and Narendra Modi personally, there is a lot at stake. BJP has been struggling with a cussed opposition in Rajya Sabha, which has been holding Parliament to ransom, despite the NDA holding majority in Lok Sabha.

With 31 seats in Rajya Sabha, a win in UP holds the key for the BJP to push its policies smoothly between now and the general election in 2019.

What the exit polls predict

Irrespective of the exact numbers that final results reveal tomorrow, all exit polls point to some definitive conclusions. BJP will almost certainly come to power as four exit polls have predicted BJP to emerge as the largest party, followed by SP-INC alliance and the BSP languishing at a distant third.

The results clearly prove that the impact of demonetisation was not a deterrent for voters to show their support for Narendra Modi. It is clear that he continues to enjoy people’s trust and support, while his party reaps the benefits.

Infighting within Akhilesh’s family has had a negative impact on the SP vote bank and the Congress has not been able to bring in any major electoral advantage for the alliance, despite 100 seats being allocated to it by the SP.

Mayawati has failed to consolidate her position as the popular leader of choice for all SC/ST, OBCs and other weaker sections and now remains a favoured leader for only her own community – the Jatavs. She will have to watch from the sidelines for the next five years unless BJP fails to get a majority and reaches out to her for support.

Meanwhile, in a tacit admission of failure, Akhilesh Yadav of SP has already reached out to Mayawati, publicly stating that he was open to an alliance with BSP.

Irrespective of the actual numbers, the results will surely strengthen BJP in the run up to 2019 general elections.

Punjab – 117 seats

What’s at stake

The Badal family has had a long run with power in the state and now faces strong anti-incumbency. The state faces a serious situation with corruption, drug and alcohol abuse and looming water-distribution dispute with Haryana. The party that takes charge will have a major task at hand addressing these issues on priority while trying to manage limited financial resources for priority allocations.

What the exit polls predict

The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP alliance in Punjab seems to have run into the anti-incumbency wall. This along with serious corruption allegations has dented SAD-BJP alliance’s chances of retaining power. Four polls have predicted a complete rout for the alliance which is a stinging vote against the Badal family in particular.

What is still not very clear is who will emerge the eventual winner between AAP and Congress, although the exit polls seem to point to AAP having a slight advantage over INC.

Uttarakhand – 70 seats

What’s at stake

Uttarakhand has almost regularly been rotating the party in power. People are disillusioned with the present Harish Rawat-led INC and it seems BJP will form the next government.

What the exit polls predict

Three out of four exit polls predict BJP will emerge the clear winner while one poll has given an even chance to both the BJP and the INC. Poor job creation in the state; wide gap between per-capita income in prosperous towns like Haridwar and Haldwani and hilly regions; falling agriculture output, are all contributing to rising anti-incumbency.

Goa – 40 seats

What’s at stake

BJP needs to consolidate its hold in Goa since it has already built a strong base in Maharashtra, and has big plans going south into Karnataka and Kerala.

Manohar Parrikar did a good job in building the party’s base in Goa and is now returning to consolidate where it seemed to be slipping.

What the exit polls predict

All three exit polls point to a BJP win in Goa, with INC putting up a strong fight. BJP’s former alliance party, MGP, is already showing signs of moving closer and it seems BJP will form the next government.

Outside of Punjab, AAP had high hopes of making it to the hot seat in Goa but as per current predictions that will have to wait for another election.

Manipur  – 60 seats

What’s at stake

INC has been in power for 15 long years, so this election will be a make or break for the party in the state. For BJP, though, this will be a continuance of their effort in penetrating the North East region.

What the exit polls predict

Two polls have come out with their predictions; one gives BJP the clear majority while the other predicts INC to retain power. Although the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila’s PRJA, is fighting from only three constituencies, it’s her fight against the sitting CM, Ibobi Singh in the Thoubal, that is being closely watched.

Tomorrow – with bated breath!

March 11 shall reveal how much of all the above is proven true, as the outcome will have a definitive impact on the direction of Indian politics in the 2019 general election.


Find Election Results Updates.

Assembly Election Results 2017

UP Assembly Election Results 2017

Punjab Assembly Election Results 2017

Uttarakhand Assembly Election Results 2017

Manipur Assembly Election Results 2017

Goa Assembly Election Results 2017