Exit Polls vs Election Results: How Accurate Were the Predictions?

The BJP won an unprecedented two-thirds majority in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress returned to power in Punjab after a 10-year gap. The BJP won Uttarakhand but was neck and neck with the Congress in Goa and Manipur in the country's biggest mandate since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

A euphoric Bharatiya Janata Party called it a "historic" verdict that would make a major impact on Indian politics even as the Congress admitted it was stunned by the scale of the verdict in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

From being the third largest group in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, the BJP, powered by an aggressive campaign spearheaded by Modi, catapulted to winning a whopping 325 seats - a never-before showing by any party in the country's most populous state.

However, these results were in contrast to most exit poll projections which predicted a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh. The Quint takes a look at how the exit polls fared during this marathon phase of elections that saw five states going to polls.

News24-Chanakya Gets UP Right

All the exit poll projections for Uttar Pradesh seemed to predict a come back for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

ABP-CSDS and India TV-CVoter predicted that the BJP will emerge as the largest party but the two pegged the saffron party to fall short of forming a majority in the state. However, two other agencies -- India Today-Axis and News24-Chanakya-- gave the ‘lotus’ a sweeping victory.

The closest was News24-Today’s Chanakya which predicted a sweeping victory for BJP with a seat share of 267-303. The Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance followed with a seat share of 73-103 and Bahujan Samaj Party pegged to get 15-39 seats.

None of the Exit Polls Could Predict AAP’s Crushing Defeat

None of the exit polls could predict the crushing defeat of the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab. Most of the polls predicted a tight race between the Congress and the AAP, but nobody's prediction was close to the reality, since AAP won only 20 seats.

ABP-CSDS gave Congress a lead in Punjab and said that it is possible for the party to form the government in the state. But also predicted that AAP would be the runner up.

India TV-CVoter India Exit Poll was completely off route and predicted that AAP would form a government winning 59 to 67 of the 117 assembly seats in Punjab.

News 24-Chanakya and NewsX-MRC forecast a dead heat giving around 54-55 to both Congress and AAP in a neck and neck fight.

India Today-Axis exit polls gave 62-71 seats to the Congress and 42-51 to AAP.

Also Read: Punjab Exit Polls 2017: AAP and Congress Set For a Close Fight

No Exit Poll Saw Congress Being Vanquished in Uttarakhand

News24-Today’s Chanakya got it right by giving BJP a clean victory in Uttarakhand with around 53 ± 7 votes. India Today-Axis too expected the Congress-ruled Uttarakhand to swing in favour of the BJP. While India TV - CVoter India was far off the mark, NewsX-MRC did not see Congress' being vanquinshed in Uttarakhand.

The BJP is likely to stake claim to form the government in Goa, hoping to sail across the majority mark with support from the smaller parties and independents. But as far as the Goa Exit Polls are concerned, most of them anticipated the BJP to secure more seats.

Also Read: Exit Polls Project BJP Closest to Threshold in Uttarakhand, Goa