With the Karnataka Assembly election being perhaps one of the most polarising contests in recent history, exit polls have emerged as an important tool to discover voters' mood.
Firstpost takes a look at the exit polls — Times Now-VMR exit poll, India Today-Axis My India, RepublicTV-Jan ki baat, ABP News-CVoter Poll, NewsX-CNX, News Nation poll, Today's Chanakya and Dighvijaya News poll — to give you a picture of how things may pan out.
Of eight exit polls, six gave BJP a clear edge, while the rest reckoned that Congress would emerge as the single largest party. Interestingly, three polls predicted that the BJP and Congress might win enough seats to form the government on their own power: India Today-Axis My India for Congress and Republic TV-Jan ki Baat and Today's Chanakya for BJP. It seems as if a hung Assembly might be on the cards, but only time will tell.
|India Today-Axis My India||106-118||79-92||22-30||1-4|
|Republic TV-Jan ki Baat||73-82||95-114||32-43||3-4|
|ABP News Cvoter||87-99||97-109||21-30||1-8|
Clear lead to BJP
The Republic TV-Jan ki Baat exit poll gave the BJP the clear edge in Karnataka, and predicted the saffron party would net between 95 and 114 seats. By contrast, it predicted the Congress to win between 73 and 82 seats and the JD-S only between 32 and 43 seats.
The Dighvijay News exit poll predicted between 103 and 107 seats for the BJP under the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine, between 76 and 80 seats for the Congress headed by Siddaramaiah and party chief Rahul Gandhi. The JD-S was estimated to get between 31 and 35 seats.
The NewsX-CNX exit poll put the BJP as a clear frontrunner. It estimated that the BJP would get between 102 and 110 seats. The poll put the Congress a distant second and estimated that it would grab only between 72 and 78 seats. The JD-S was predicted to pick up between 35 and 39 seats.
The News Nation poll put BJP on firm footing, estimating that it would win between 105 and 109 seats. It predicted the Congress to nab between 71 and 75 seats, while the JDS would pick up between 36 and 40 seats.
The ABP News CVoter exit poll predicted 97-109 seats for BJP, 87-99 seats for the Congress and 21-30 for JD-S.
Today's Chanakya exit poll stated that the BJP would net an impressive 120 seats and easily clear the 112 mark needed to form the government. The agency predicted the Congress would see its seat share fall to 73, while the JD-S would net 26 seats.
Congress to prevail
The Times Now-VMR exit poll said the Congress would net between 90 and 103 seats, the BJP would win between 80 and 93 seats and the JD-S would prevail in 31 to 30 seats.
The India Today-Axis My India exit poll said the Grand Old Party would come out on top with between 106 and 118 seats. It predicted that the BJP would nab between 79 and 92 seats and the JD-S would get between 22 and 30 seats.
Siddaramaiah takes swipe at Modi, Shah
Siddaramaiah took a swipe at Shah and Modi on the day of polling, and said, "This Amit Shah is like a comedy show and Narendra Modi's image has drastically declined, his speeches are completely hollow and have made no impact on the voters of Karnataka. Therefore we are not worried."
The Congress party's official stand on its chief ministerial candidate has been that the party MLAs will elect their leader after the election, even as it fought the election under the chief minister's leadership. However, Siddaramaiah claimed that he will be the chief minister once again.
According to the polling percentage recorded till 1 pm, polling in urban Bengaluru is the lowest at 28 percent, however, constituencies in Dakshina Kannada region recorded good turnout in comparison.
Clashes broke out between Congress and BJP workers outside a polling booth in Hampi Nagar, allegedly after the former thrashed a BJP corporator. Ravindra, Vijayanagar, BJP candidate says, "Our corporator Anand was attacked but police aren't taking any action."
Meanwhile, Bengaluru DCP Ravi Channannavar said, "It is a sensitive polling booth and the clash between BJP and Congress workers happened within 100 metres of the booth. We will investigate and take further action."
About 24 percent polling was recorded within the first four hours after voting began for the fiercely fought Karnataka Assembly polls on Saturday morning. According to state electoral authorities, the highest 31 percent voting was recorded in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts respectively at 11 am while Bengaluru Urban recorded the lowest at 17 percent.
According to The Hindu, Karnataka registered 21.1 percent voter turnout till 11 am. Meanwhile, voting was suspended briefly at booth number 32 in Yadgir city due to technical issues and was later resumed.
Ola and Uber services have been down in the Old Mysore region since Friday. The drivers reportedly went back to their villages to vote in the Karnataka Assembly election, according to The Hindu. Votes will be counted on 15 May.
With inputs from PTI
Firstpost reviewed this story after reports emerged that the Suvarna news 24x7 exit poll was fake. We have deleted references to that poll.
Updated Date: May 15, 2018 08:26 AM