Various exit polls on Friday evening added to the suspense by appearing to hedge their bets. If Lokniti-CSDS poll called the election in Chhattisgarh in favour of the BJP, it predicted a clear majority for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh. The India-Today-Axis poll on the other hand handed an overwhelming majority in Chhattisgarh to the Congress but in Madhya Pradesh it predicted a close, neck to neck race to the finish.
India Today-Axis predicted a clear majority for the Congress in Rajasthan with 130 seats and even Times Now-CNX survey placed the Congress with 105 seats ahead of the BJP, which it predicted would bag 85 seats.
Telangana and Mizoram, meanwhile continued to fox the pollsters with most polls veering to predict a comfortable majority for the TRS in Telangana and a hung house in Mizoram.
Most polls in the three Hindi-heartland states put the number of rebels, independent and smaller parties’ tally at less than 10 in each of the states. In Chhattisgarh, for example, the polls predicted ‘Others’ to bag between 3 and 9 seats in the 90-member Assembly. But the smaller parties, rebels and independents may have been more successful as spoilers, they seemed to suggest. What came out in the surveys was that the election in the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has been a bipolar contest between the BJP and the Congress.
NDTV tweeted the following graphic to illustrate the see-saw nature of the exit polls.
Many people on Twitter, however, voiced their scepticism at exit polls. Kanpur based Sujeet Sachan asked, do you trust exit polls ? And went on to answer with both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
Journalist and commentator Shivam Vij tweeted that his gut feeling was that BJP would be losing all the three ‘Hindi’states, making it lose all the five assembly elections.
A Congress supporter, Saral Patel, tweeted that the ED raid on the offices of Robert Vadra on Friday was a better barometer than the exit polls!
Exit polls have not always been correct. In the past few years they have been spectacularly off the mark in Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Bihar. But they had correctly predicted the outcome of the elections in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.
Here are the highlights of some of the Exit Polls aired on Friday evening :