Exit poll results after every election are a topic of intense debate and discussions. The predictions by various agencies are helpful in determining the trend of voting in elections. On December 7, right after the voting ended for Assembly elections in five states - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram - a host of survey agencies gave their verdict on which party will bag the states that went to polls.
However, all exit poll results announced last week for the just-concluded Assembly elections turned out to be way off the predictions.
The only prediction that came close was in Madhya Pradesh where pollsters had claimed there would be a neck-and-neck battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The poll numbers though were far from close. The Congress emerged as a single-largest party in the state with wins in 114 seats, BJP with 109, BSP in 2 and others in 5.
In Rajasthan, most pollsters had predicted a win for the Congress but none of them managed to come close to the final figure. The Congress won 99 seats while the BJP bagged 73 seats. Bahujan Samaj Party won six, Bhartiya Tribal Party two, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party three, the CPI(M) two and one went to Rashtriya Lok Dal.
In Chhattisgarh, pollsters had divided the numbers in the state almost into half by giving 40 seats on an average to both the Congress and the BJP. None of the results in the exit polls came even close to the actual winning figures that were announced on Tuesday. The Raman Singh-government was unseated in the state with the Congress winning 68 seats and BJP winning just 15 and the JCC bagging 7 seats.
In Telangana, all exit polls had predicted that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) would emerge as the single-largest party. While that came true, no one had expected that the Telugu Desam Party- Congress alliance would end up a distant second. In the final tally, the TRS stood miles ahead of its competitors with 88 seats, Congress-led alliance won 21, the BJP one and others bagged 9 seats.
In Mizoram too, there was a huge difference between the exit polls and the final results. As opposed to the predictions of a tough fight between the Congress and the Mizo National Front (MNF), the latter emerged as a clear winner in the polls in the 40-member assembly. MNF won 26 seats, Congress 5, BJP one and Others 8 seats.
In the results of the Assembly polls, the Congress has emerged as a winner in three of the five states. BJP has conceded defeat and discussions within the Congress camp are now underway to appoint the next Chief Minister in these states.