Elections

Pollsters Predict NDA Sweep In LS Polls 2024, But Have Exit Polls Always Been Right? The 2004 Election Story

While most pollsters gave BJP close to or over 370 seats in the Lok Sabha elections 2024, in which 272 is the majority mark, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after a meeting of the opposition INDIA bloc that the alliance will win more than 295 seats.

PTI/File
Have exit polls always been correct or close to being correct? The answer is no. Photo: PTI/File
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While the exit polls give a clear majority to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and a setback to the Opposition bloc 'INDIA', saffron party's rivals remain hopeful of the actual results being totally different from the projections, saying these are "inflated figures".

While most pollsters gave BJP close to or over 370 seats in the Lok Sabha elections 2024, in which 272 is the majority mark, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after a meeting of the opposition INDIA bloc that the alliance will win more than 295 seats.

"We have arrived at this figure after speaking with all our leaders. This is a survey of people. People have given this information to our leaders. The government surveys are there and their media friends also inflate figures and put it out. Therefore, we want to tell you about the reality," Kharge said. Track Lok Sabha Election Exit Poll Results

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, said after exit poll projections were out that "the opportunistic INDI Alliance failed to strike a chord with the voters", adding that "they are casteist, communal and corrupt."

But have exit polls always been correct or close to being correct? The answer is no.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led government back then had called for earlier general polls banking on the then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee's popularity, which was peaking at that point in time.

The BJP was confident of its victory and got even more confident by its wins in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.

Majority of exit poll projections had also reflected the above and predicted that BJP and its allies (NDA) would get a comfortable victory between 240 to 275 seats.

However, to everyone's surprise the BJP-led NDA won only 187 seats, while the Congress and its allies won 216 seats.

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