Like watches, exit polls seldom agree. So, after a hard fought election in Bengal during which violence could be contained but not covid, finally people did not get any clear indication of the outcome from the exit polls.
While exit polls like one conducted by C Voter predicts clean majority for the TMC, CNX claims BJP may touch the magic figure or fall short by a few seats, and Peoples Pulse predicts a BJP Tsunami in Bengal.
So, we are back to square one, for now we have three sorts of predictions: TMC majority, hung assembly and BJP majority. Ironically, we have just these three options as the outcome, and different exit polls have predicted all the three options.
Elections have been held for 292 constituencies, and the magic figure is 147. The C voter’s exit poll has been shared by different channels like ABP and Times Now.
It predicts the TMC will get 152-164 (158) seats with 42 per cent vote share, BJP 109-121(115) with 39 per cent vote share, and the Samjukta Morcha 14-25 (15) with 15 per cent vote share. Quite a few other exit polls by less known agencies have also predicted TMC securing absolute majority.
The Republic TV-CNX poll broadly indicates a hung assembly, though according to it the BJP may touch the magic figure of 147. It predicts 138-148 (143) seats for the BJP with 42.75 per cent vote share, 128-138 (133) for TMC with 40.07 per cent vote share, and Samjukta Morcha 11-21 (16) with 14.4 per cent vote share.
If this prediction comes true, BJP will have to wean away some MLAs from the other parties in search of stability (as no other party will support it), and will be facing criticisms from all quarters.
Now, the India TV-Peoples Pulse exit poll puts BJP many, many miles ahead of the present ruling party. It has given phase-wise details of all the eight phases and concludes the BJP will go past 180, and may touch even 200 (out of 292 seats). It stands in stark contrast to C Voter’s prediction. Now it has to be seen whose prediction is proved right on 2nd May.
(The author Diptendra Raychaudhuri is a senior journalist based in Kolkata. He has a wide range of experience in covering West Bengal politics and has authored several books)