When BJP won exit polls but lost the elections

The BJP is ahead in 4 states out of five that are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. According to Exit Poll results, BJP in Uttar Pradesh would emerge as the single largest party and may come close to the halfway mark of 202 in a House of 403.

Exit Poll results are out. And if numbers are to be believed, then the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to win at least 4 states out of 5, including India's most populace state Uttar Pradesh where it could make a comeback after almost 15 years.

According to Exit Poll results, BJP in Uttar Pradesh would emerge as the single largest party and may come close to the halfway mark of 202 in a House of 403. At least two exit polls predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP, with India Today-Axis estimating that it could get as many as 285 seats.

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Jury is still out on the actual performance of the saffron party. But, anyone who tends to believe Exit Poll results 2017 should actually take a pause. On more than three occasions the BJP emerged victoious in the Exit Polls but went on to lose the elections.

General Election 2004
It all started with General Elections 2004 when almost every media organization and pollster predicted landslide victory for the ruling NDA alliance led by the BJP. But, all of them got their predictions wrong. General elections 2004 were described to be the first pollsters elections.

Below are the numbers projected by pollsters back then in 2004

NDTV-AC Nielsen: (NDA 230-250) (Congress190-205) (Others 100-120)
StarNews C-Voter: (NDA 263-275) (Congress 174-186) (Others 86-98)
Aajtak ORG-MARG: (NDA 248) (Congress-190) (Others-105)

However, the numbers went horribly wrong when Election Commission announced the actual results. The BJP could manage to get just 138 seats and with its seven alliance partners the number reached to 185. The Party wasn't expecting such defeat as the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP, was believed to have done fairly well in the past 5 years.

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Uttarakhand 2012
Various Exit Polls predicted a close fight between the BJP and the Congress party. But few also had forecast that the BJP would return to power. However, the Congress won the election.

The predictions were almost correct as the Congress won with just one seat more than the BJP. The saffron party managed to win 31 seats. Congress won 32 and formed the government in 2012.

Bihar Assembly Election 2015
Last year in 2015, the BJP hoped another mega win in Bihar after sweeping the general elections 2014. And, setting the stage for celebrations, various Exit Polls gave clear lead to the saffron party. Predicting the results, News 24-Chanakya gave the BJP a tally of 155 in the 243-seat House. NDTV and India Today's numbers were close to 120 seats for the BJP.

Exit Poll numbers for Bihar assembly elections

News24- Today's Chanakya: (BJP 155) (JDU 83) (others 5)
NDTV: (BJP 120-130) (JDU 105-115) (others 5-10)
India Today: (BJP 120) (JDU 117) (others 6)

When the actual results were announced, the exit poll numbers, once again, did not turn out the way it was projected. The BJP suffered a major defeat. Nitish Kumar-led alliance bagged 178 of the 243 Bihar Assembly seats.

And, that is probably the reason Congress Vice President has rejected the Exit Poll numbers saying the projections in Bihar were wrong. "We will win in Uttar Pradesh. Exit polls projections in Bihar were wrong. We will talk on 11 March," Rahul Gandhi said after Thursday's Exit Poll results.