Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state in India, could see the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) return to power after almost 15 years. With exit polls, analysts and psephologists often getting it wrong, here is a new technique that claims to predict election results, based on the reasonable accuracy in US presidential polls.
Welcome to the new predicting tool — Google Trends.
"Looking at the data for the UP elections, BJP clearly seems to be leading. Even after adding the interest for SP and Congress, they have largely lagged behind BJP and only recently have taken a 1-2 point lead. BSP is nowhere close," Rahul Gupta, an analyst, wrote for the Quint, citing historical data on the basis of Google trends.
The report said that predictions based on such trend analysis proved correct in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 2016 US presidential elections and the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls.
However, the BJP may not get enough numbers to form a government, rather it would end up as the single-largest party, the report added.
The basis for such predictions is the mind share occupied by the leading contenders, and in case of Uttar Pradesh, it's the BJP.
More from IBTimes India: Designated Survivor season 1 episode 11 watch online: Kirkman finds out about the conspiracy?
The trends also predict a Congress win in Punjab, with Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) finishing second. In Goa, it's BJP that is projected to win, with the Congress coming second.
In Uttarakhand also, the BJP is the clear favourite, ahead of its rival Congress.
Gupta cited the trends during the previous elections and the actual results. "In the Delhi polls, BJP was tipped to win by psephologists. But AAP emerged winner, and Google Trends data had already predicted this. The next big election was in Bihar. Google Trends data shows a neck-and-neck fight between Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi. But when one adds the interest in Lalu Yadav, who was an alliance partner of Nitish Kumar, it clearly takes him over the top," he wrote.
More from IBTimes India: Hawaii becomes first US state to challenge Donald Trump's revised travel ban, files lawsuit
The exit poll results for all the five states are expected to be out by 5.30 pm on Thursday. The projections are bound to have an impact on stock markets when they open on Friday.
On Thursday, the Sensex ended 27 points higher at 28,929. Top gainers were Maruti Suzuki, State Bank of India (SBI) and Axis Bank.