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What are the State Election Exit Polls broadly indicating?

Economy | Published on Mar 10th 2017 | Comment(s) 0
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To begin with, here is a broadly disclaimer. This is a summary of all exit polls announced on March 09th in the five states that are expecting the results of assembly elections on March 11th. Like any sample survey, these exit polls also have their shortcomings. Firstly, the sample is assumed to represent the entire population but in a diverse country like India that can be fairly challenging. Secondly, every exit poll is based on some assumptions to track shifts in voting patterns. If these assumptions turn out to be wrong, then a lot of inferences may also be erroneous. Lastly, exit polls are based on the premise of honest feedback coming from voters. In many sensitive constituencies, that may not necessarily be the case and that could distort the findings of the poll. The final results of all these state elections will be announced on 11th March.

 

Summary of exit polls in Uttar Pradesh…

 

Summary of Uttar Pradesh Exit Polls by Key Agencies

Poll Agency

CVOTER

ABP-CSDS

News-X MRC

Today’s Chanakya

BJP

161

170

185

285

SP + Congress

141

163

120

88

BSP

87

67

90

27

Others

14

3

8

3

Total

403

403

403

403

 

While the numbers may vary, the trend seems to be clearly indicating a major voter base shift towards the BJP. The exit polls indicate that the SP/Congress combine may be ceding the maximum number of seats compared to the 2012 elections. While most of the polls place the BJP below the half-way mark of 202 seats, the sharp improvement in performance by itself will be a major boost to its prospects in the 2019 elections. From an economic standpoint, this will also be extremely encouraging for the equity markets as this will indicate that the government reforms process is broadly on track. Interestingly, the BJP was expected to face a lot of flak in UP due to its demonetization program. If the BJP performs close to what the exit polls are projecting, then it will considered to be a real vindication of the demonetization program by the people of UP. After all, UP has been the pivotal state in Indian politics.

 

Summary of exit polls in Punjab…

 

Summary of Punjab Exit Polls by Key Agencies

Poll Agency

CVOTER

ABP-CSDS

News-X MRC

Today’s Chanakya

AAP

63

41

55

54

Congress

45

51

55

54

SAD + BJP

9

23

7

9

Others

0

2

0

0

Total

117

117

117

117

 

There seems to be a strong anti-incumbency wave across Punjab against the ruling SAD+BJP combine. That seems to be the broad consensus among all the four agencies. In fact, even Today’s Chanakya, which has predicted a landslide victory for the BJP in UP has given a very low seat share for BJP in Punjab. According to early indications, it looks like Punjab may be a straight fight between the Congress and the AAP. It is said that in Punjab the party that dominates the Malwa region normally rules Punjab. That may be the real test of who eventually gets to form the government in the state of Punjab.

 

Summary of exit polls in Goa…

 

Summary of Goa Exit Polls by Key Agencies

Poll Agency

CVOTER

ABP-CSDS

News-X MRC

 

BJP

18

19

15

 

Congress

15

13

10

 

Others

5

6

8

 

AAP

2

2

7

 

Total

40

40

40

 

 

If the exit polls are any indication then the AAP will have reason to be disappointed. In fact, there were early expectations that the AAP would make a huge dent in Goa the same way that it had promised to make in Punjab. Somehow the exit polls seem to be indicating a tepid performance by the AAP. For now it looks like a straight contest between the BJP and the Congress. A lot will depend on the extent of anti-incumbency considering that the BJP is currently in power in Goa.

 

Summary of exit polls in Uttarakhand…

 

Summary of Uttarakhand Exit Polls by Key Agencies

Poll Agency

CVOTER

ABP-CDS

News-X MRC

Today’s Chanakya

Congress

32

26

30

15

BJP

32

38

38

53

Others

6

6

2

2

Total

70

70

70

70

 

Uttarakhand has been a politically volatile state and has been in the midst of controversy over the last few years. While the CVOTER predicts a close contest between the BJP and the Congress, all the other polls are giving a clear margin to the BJP. Being a straight contest between the two parties, it will be too close to call. Back in 2012, the gap in vote share between the Congress and the BJP was almost negligible and hence it will continue to be a closely fought state.

 

Of course, there is also the state of Manipur which went to elections this year and there also it is expected to be a straight contest between the Congress and the BJP. To sum it up, the exit polls are indicating strong gains for the BJP. Apart from the all important state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is expected to put up a good performance in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Of course, most exit polls are predicting a weak performance by the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab due to a strong wave of anti-incumbency.

 

Why are these state elections important? Firstly, they will form a base ahead of elections in the BJP strongholds of Gujarat in early 2018 and in the states of MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in early 2019. Secondly, these state elections will be a testing ground ahead of the central elections in 2019. Lastly, a good show by the BJP will be seen as a vindication of demonetization and the overall reforms process initiated by this government. That will be a big positive boost for market sentiments! Of course, we still have to wait for the actual election outcome on March 11th.




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