How Accurate were Exit Poll Results in 2016 Elections?


[masterslider id=”7″]

State Winner Exit Poll Predictions IndiaToday-Axis Today’s Chankya CVoter NDTV News Nation
Tamil Nadu AIADMK (134) 95 99 90 139 103 97
West Bengal TMC (211) 125 243 210 167 184 153
Kerala LDF (91) 90 94 75 78 79 69
Assam BJP+ (86) 60 86 90 57 73 65
Puducherry Congress+ (17) 18 14 16

*Table showing exit poll predictions and actual result for all the four states and one UT

In 2011 Assembly elections, the exit polls had correctly predicted clean sweep for the TMC in West Bengal and a historic third term for the Congress in Assam. However, they were divided over the results in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry. Now that the verdict for the 2016 Assembly elections is out, let’s see how far the predictions of the exit polls have proven to be accurate.

Tamil Nadu

At a time when most of the agencies were upbeat about Karunandhi coming back to power, CVoter is one of the few agencies that was bang on with its prediction: 139 for AIADMK and 78 for DMK alliance. Final results are not much different: AIADMK 134 and DMK+ 98. NewsNation had predicted a more close contest between the two Dravidian parties giving 97 seats to the AIADMK and 116 to the DMK.

Besides, both IndiaToday-Axis and News Nation had predicted AIADMK’s defeat with all indicating the party’s seat share to vary between 95 and 100. The talks of emergence of a “significant” third front and the the ignominy faced by Jayalalithaa of being the first ever CM to be put behind the bars for corruption in 2014 were suggestive of a windfall gains for the DMK camp, but her welfare measures sailed her through.

Kerala’s prediction on the outcome of Kerala results was the closest to accurate. It had predicted 90 seats for the LDF, just one less from what it got in reality. It’s prediction of 45 seats for the UDF was just two less than what it actually got. It wasn’t far off the mark when it predicted a single seat for the BJP, as former union minister O. Rajagopal seemed to be the only strong contender.

IndiaToday-Axis made the second closest prediction giving 94 and 43 seats to the LDF and UDF respectively. News Nation was off the mark as it predicted a 50 per cent seat share for the UDF in the 140-seat Assembly. Although CVoter predicted victory for the LDF, it had given more leeway to the UDF.

West Bengal

While Today’s Chanakya slightly overshot its prediction giving 14 seats to the BJP, yet was absolutely on target when it predicted 201 seats for the TMC and 70 for Left-Congress combine. According to final results, the TMC won in 211, Congress+Left won in 77 seats (44 + 33 seats) and BJP managed to get 6 seats. was the only one to predict the exact number of seats that the BJP would win. In fact, it was the only entity that also suggested a change in regime.

While CVoter was little more optimistic about the prospects of Left-Congress combine in the state, predicting a significant rise in its seat share, IndiaToday-Axis suggested a more dismal performance giving only 44 seats to the alliance.


IndiaToday-Axis was spot on with the prediction of 86 seats for the BJP and its alliance. However, it had downplayed the influence of the AIUDF in Assam as it had expected the party to win in only 7 seats. ABP’s projections on BJP’s seat share were also quite close.’s predictions of AIUDF’s performance was near-accurate as it had forecast 16 seats for the Badruddin Ajmal’s party. However, Ajmal’s loss from his own constituency and other factors finally restricted the party’s tally to 13. CVoter had predicted 18 seats for the party with an expectation that it would improve on its 2011 elections figure of 16 seats.


NDTV’s projections on Puducherry elections were very close to the actual results. It had predicted 16 seats for the Congress and 3 for the AIDMK. Finally, they won 17 and 4 seats respectively. There was somewhat unanimity among other survey agencies on the possible verdict against N. Rangasamy’s AINRC. The fact that it would lose almost 50% of its seat share as compared to 2011 Assembly elections was something that almost all the agencies predicted quite accurately.