Today’s Chanakya offered the most accurate estimate for four of the five assembly elections in 2013 and 2014.

New Delhi: Friday ushered in that familiar excitement for poll pundits, professional as well as arm-chair, as the wait for exit polls ended and set the stage for clues about the probable winners of this election season.

In keeping with an Election Commission directive, the publication and circulation of opinion/exit polls is barred while elections are underway. So when the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram end Friday evening, exit polls won’t be far behind.

The exit polls for the assembly elections in 2013 in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram were fairly accurate in their predictions about the victors, although most of them failed to gauge the margin of these victories.

The poll released by Today’s Chanakya offered the closest prediction.

Same can be said of Telangana — India’s newest state — which held its maiden election on the eve of Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation in the summer of 2014.

As election excitement peaks, ThePrint revisits the exit polls released at the time to show what different pollsters had predicted, and how it finally turned out. 

Rajasthan

Of the two major players, the BJP won 163 of Rajasthan’s 200 seats, while the Congress got 21 seats.

Today’s Chanakya called the election the closest, predicting 147 seats for the BJP and 39 for the Congress.

Times Now-C Voter pegged the number of seats between 125 and 135 for the BJP, and 43-53 for the Congress

The exit poll conducted by CNN-IBN-The Week and CSDS predicted that the BJP will win 126-136 seats and the Congress 49-57.

India Today-ORG’s predictions were not even remotely close, with the BJP pegged to win 110 seats and the Congress 62.


Also read: Rajasthan: Unpopular Raje vs upbeat Congress vs popular Modi


Madhya Pradesh

The BJP and the Congress, the major political players in Madhya Pradesh as well, won 165 and 58 seats – or 223 of the state’s 230 assembly seats.

Today’s Chanakya nailed it again, predicting 161 seats for the BJP and 62 for the Congress.

India Today-ORG and ABP-Nielsen offered identical projections: 138 for the BJP and 80 for the Congress.

Times Now-C Voter estimated the BJP would win between 123 and 133 seats, and the Congress 87-97.

CNN-IBN-The Week and CSDS predicted 136-146 seats for the BJP and 67-77 for the Congress.

Chhattisgarh

This state went to the BJP too in an election season that set the party on a victory spree around the country: The BJP won 49 of the state’s 90 seats, while the Congress settled for 39.

In Chhattisgarh, all the exit polls were fairly accurate: Today’s Chanakya predicted that the BJP would win 51 seats and the Congress 39. India Today-ORG estimated 53 seats for the BJP and 33 for the Congress, while Times Now-CVoter predicted anywhere between 40 and 48 seats for the BJP and 37-45 for the Congress.

CNN-IBN-The Week and CSDS predicted between 45 and 55 seats for the BJP and 32-40 for the Congress.

Mizoram

The Congress’ only remaining bastion in the northeast gave the party 34 of the assembly’s 40 seats. The other big player, the Mizo National Front, won five.

India TV-CVoter, which released the only exit poll on the state, predicted 19 seats for the Congress and 14 for the Mizo National Front.


Also read: Mizoram: Congress’ last bastion in northeast and BJP’s final frontier


Telangana

Under K. Chandrashekar Rao, the leader of the statehood agitation, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the state’s maiden election, securing 63 of its 119 assembly seats. The Congress came a distant second with 21. While the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won 15, its then ally BJP won five. Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) secured seven seats.

Today’s Chanakya was spot on yet again as it predicted 62-80 seats for the TRS, 16-30 for the Congress, and 10-20 for the TDP-BJP alliance.

Hyderabad-based Mahaa news channel predicted 57 seats for the TRS, 23 for the Congress, 21 for the TDP and seven for the BJP.

The NDTV HANSA survey pegged the TRS’ seat tally at anywhere between 66 and 80, the Congress’ from 18-30, and 8-16 each for the TDP and the AIMIM.

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