Exit polls were off the mark again

Exit polls were off the mark again

The exit polls gave the UPA 185 to 205 seats and the NDA 142 to 198 while predicting as many as 110 to 130 seats for the Third Front, which, as trends reveal, may not cross even half of that.   

The predictions for the UPA did not include the projections for the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), of 25 to 35 seats. The trends show that they can add up to 24.

The RJD and LJP have been saying they are part of the UPA coalition but contested independently of the Congress, while the Samajwadi Party joined them in what was termed the Fourth Front.
The surveys gave 110-130 seats to the Third Front that is led by the Left parties.

The Left parties, which supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government until July last year, were projected by exit polls to get 38 seats.

But according to trends, the Left parties are expected to get around 28, a huge fall from their existing tally of 59.

The remaining seats were credited to smaller and regional parties, including the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

The exit polls had been wide off the mark even in the 2004 elections. Nearly all of them predicted an NDA victory by a wide margin, but the Bharatiya Janata Party-led grouping lost to a rejuvenated Congress.

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