The General Elections 2019 concluded today with the completion of 7th phase of polling. With the conclusion of polling, exit polls by various news channels are being published now. Most of the exit polls have predicted clear majority for the NDA.
In the state of West Bengal and Odisha, BJP has made significant gains and most of the pollsters have predicted above 15 seats for the party out 42 parliamentary seats. But before going into the exit polls of 2019, let us have look at how the exit polls fared in 2014 elections vis-a-vis these two states.
During the elections of 2014, exit polls and opinion polls flooded news channels and news sites. While some said that BJP was not going to secure a majority, other advocated that INC still had a chance to redeem itself. Amidst all this, two states on the eastern coast of the country proposed a different political dynamics altogether.
While it was a battle between the grand old party and the BJP in major part of the nation, Bengal and Odisha had strong regional powers fighting to retain their supremacy in the state. Different exit polls gave different results. There was one commonality among all of them, the strength of the regional party.
Odisha’s total share of the seats in the Parliament is 21, in 2014, according to Lokniti pre-poll survey, 34% of the sample population wanted BJD, the regional party ruling Odisha for past 20 years, to come to power. While 30% wanted BJP, 26% voted for an INC led government. Other parties could only secure a mandate of 9% in the survey. Based on the data of the pre-poll survey, Lokniti gave an estimate of 4 seats to be secured by INC, 3-7 for BJP, 0-2 for other parties, and BJD with 10-16 seats.
In 2014, C-voters exit poll had a similar prediction with BJD securing a total of 12 seats, INC winning 7, BJP capturing on 2 while other parties would have to be satisfied with single seat representation. Other exit polls like NDTV-Hansa research said that BJD would secure 13 seats, while BJP and INC would stand with 7 and 1 seat respectively.
The final results of the state were quite unexpected. Congress and other parties could not secure a single seat in the state of Odisha. BJP secured one seat while the defending champion, the BJD stood with 20 seats out of total 21 and retained its stronghold over the politics of Odisha.
West Bengal which is the second largest state in terms of the seats in the parliament, on the other side was a battleground of four strong parties, BJP, Trinamool Congress, INC and the Left party. West Bengal with a total of 40 seats had a history of Communist rule, until Mamata Banerjee made Trinamool Congress a force that would drive Bengal politics toppling the leftist stronghold. According to the NDTV Hansa Research, the exit poll favoured the All India Trinamool Congress with a projection of 30 seats in 2014. BJP, according to the exit poll, did not secure any seat while Congress and left front could easily win 4 and 8 seats respectively.
In 2014, The Lokniti exit poll gave a range for each party. According to their exit poll, INC would stand between 4-7 seats, BJP with 0-1, left front with 7-11, and TMC with 23-29 seats for 2014 general elections. The C voter exit poll gave an estimate of 24 seats for TMC, 14 seats for Left front, 2 for INC and 1 seat for BJP. The results were somewhat aligned with the exit polls, but the left front received a shock. The exit polls had provided a much higher number of seats than what left front actually secured. It could only manage to win 2 seats, along with BJP. TMC on the other hand had a landmark victory of 34 seats out of 40 while INC secured total 4 seats.
For 2019, the exit poll results for West Bengal are:
|WEST BENGAL 42||BJP||Bjp vote share%||Congress+||Congress %||TMC||TMC %||Left||left %|
|India Today-Axis||19-23||41% (+24)||0||7% (-3%)||19-23||41 % (+1%)||0||5% (-20%)|
|Times now VMR||12||1||28||1|
|Republic-Jan Ki Baat|
For Odisha, the exit poll projections are:
|Odisha 21||BJP||Congress +||BJD|
|Times now VMR||12||1||8|
|Republic-Jan Ki Baat||13||1||7|
As is evident, BJP has gained significantly more in these two states than it did in 2014, if exit poll results are to be believed.