As the month-long, eight-phased West Bengal elections come to an end, the exit polls for all five poll-bound states have been declared.
For West Bengal, all exit polls show a small margin of victory for between the reigning Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Let's take a look at what the different exit polls have to say about the state's electoral prospects.
Times Now-C Voter: TMC Over Half Way Mark, But Sharp Fall From 2016 Numbers
The Times Now-C Voter survey has predicted a victory for the Trinamool Congress, but also massive gains for the BJP from its 2016 numbers.
The survey predicts 158 seats for the TMC and 115 seats for the BJP out of the 294 seats in the West Bengal assembly. Of this, 292 polled in this election. The Sanjukta Morcha, consisting of the Left, Congress and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) has been given 20 seats.
In terms of vote share, C Voter shows a negative 2.6 percent swing for the TMC from the 2016 elections, taking its vote share to 42.1 percent. The BJP, on the other hand, is expected to have a positive swing of about 30 percent , from 2016, taking its vote share to 39.2 percent.
Republic-Jan Ki Baat: BJP Win By Big Margin
The Republic-Jan Ki Baat survey predicts a sweep for the BJP with a seat range of 162-185. The survey pits the TMC at 104 to 121 seats and the Sanjukta Morcha between 3-9 seats.
It also predicts a vote-share of 44 percent for the Trinamool Congress.
India Today-Axis: Neck & Neck Between TMC & BJP
The India Today-My Axis poll predicts a neck and neck contest between the TMC and BJP. The poll puts TMC seats at 130-156 while it puts the BJP at 134-160.
In terms of region-wise share, the polls predicts a lead for the TMC in the 108 seats of Bengal's Presidency area with 75 seats.
However, in North Bengal, the survey predicts that all 27 seats will go to the BJP.
In the Malda region, out of 47 seats, the survey gives 31 seats to TMC. 16 seats have been given to the BJP.
What Do These Predictions Mean?
The predictions across exit polls show that the turning point for both the BJP and the TMC will be the areas of Junglemahal and North Bengal.
Both these areas saw massive BJP gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. These are also areas where the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe votes play a crucial role.
Both the TMC and the BJP have made a concerted push to win over these social groups.
In North Bengal, it will be interesting to see if the Bimal Gurung factor aids the TMC. Gurung, a leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), was underground since 2017 after riots in the Darjeeling hills. He sided with the BJP in the 2019 elections, which led to party winning all hill seats in that election.
However, in 2020, Gurung came out of hiding and pledged support to Mamata Banerjee. It remains to be seen if his followers will switch en masse to the TMC as well.
All eyes now on the results which will be declared on 2 May.
. Read more on West Bengal by The Quint.COVID-Related Restrictions in Maharashtra Extended Till 15 MayBengal Elections: Exit Polls Show Slim Margin Between TMC & BJP . Read more on West Bengal by The Quint.