While the credibility of exit polls are often questioned, in this election to five state assemblies, they have largely been accurate though with a few misses.
Sample this: Most of the exit polls including those by AXIS, Today's Chanakya, VMR, MRC, CSDS, etc., predicted that BJP will win seats in the range of 164-285 and form the government in Uttar Pradesh. As it turns out, BJP is not only set to form the government in the state but with a thumping majority, bagging a whopping 324 seats out of the total 403, a victory which not even the BJP cadres imagined.
In the case of SP-Congress Alliance, the exit polls had predicted seats in the range of 88-169. But in the final tally, the alliance could only get 57 seats, a number far less than predicted. Also, BSP was predicted to win anything between 60-90 seats and it could manage only 20 seats.
In the case of Punjab, while some of the exit polls had predicted a victory for Congress, many others had said it could be either a hung house, since Punjab was witnessing a triangular contest for the first time between Aam Aadmi Party, BJP-SAD and Congress, or it could be neck and neck competition between AAP and Congress. However, one thing that the exit polls got right in Punjab was that the ruling SAD-BJP alliance will finish a third. After a gap of ten years, Congress is all set to make a comeback winning 77 seats, a clear majority.
In Uttarakhand, only one of the exit polls had predicted a clear majority for BJP while the rest had predicted close competition between BJP and the ruling Congress. In the results announced today, BJP swept Uttarakhand with 57 seats while Congress finished a distant second with just 11 seats.
In Goa, the exit polls had predicted seats in the range of 15-23 in the ruling party, BJP'S kitty compared to the Congress. The results announced today saw Congress winning 19 seats while BJP was a close second with 14 seats. Surprisingly, the polls were silent on AAP winning any seat in the coastal state and the party actually did not open its account in Goa.
In Manipur, the exit polls were largely divided over who will get a clear majority with most of the polls predicting 17-36 seats for BJP and 16-31 seats for the Congress and the remaining for the regional parties. Results show that both BJP and Congress are likely to stake claim to form the government after winning 21 and 26 seats respectively.