Just How Wrong Were the Exit Polls in Haryana and Maharashtra?
All muddled up
NEW DELHI: TV news channels and exit polls got the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections all wrong, with most polls overestimating the BJP + allies lead in these key states.
The only exception was the India Today exit poll, which was held back by a day, and predicted a very close fight in Haryana. India Today was also fairly accurate with its Maharashtra predictions, giving the Congress 72-90 seats and the NCP 40-50 seats. All other pollsters had virtually written off the Congress and allies in both states.
At the time of writing, the BJP is leading in 37 seats in Haryana, with the Congress leading in 34 seats. This narrow margin gives the Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) a potential kingmaker’s role - with the JJP leading in 9 seats. Haryana’s assembly has a total of 90 seats - with smaller parties and independents leading in the remainder.
Exit Polls had vastly overestimated the BJP’s victory - with Times Now and India News each giving the BJP over 70 seats. The Congress was dismissed as non player by the pollsters.
In Maharashtra, the BJP-Shiva Sena combine is comfortably in the lead - but once again, exit polls overestimated the margin for victory, reducing the Congress-NCP combine to a non player. At the time of writing, BJP-Shiv Sena are leading in 160 seats, with the Congress-NCP doing far better than expected with a lead in 101 seats. There are a total of 288 seats in the Maharashtra assembly.
Almost all pollsters had given the BJP-Shiv Sena combine over 200 seats, predicting well under 100 seats for INC-NCP.