Indian exit polls predict record BJP win
Exit polls suggest that current prime minister Narendra Modi's party could win even more seats than it did in 2019.
Indian exit polls predict record BJP win

Indian exit polls predict record BJP win

Photo: AFP/Punit Paranjpe
Eurasia 02/06/2024 22:59

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 73, appears poised for a rare third term and is likely to be re-elected with a thumping majority, exit polls showed on Saturday evening, hammering the opposition alliance in the world’s largest democratic vote ever.

If the official results due Tuesday, June 4, back up these polls, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might fare better than the last election in 2019. Never before has any prime minister in independent India won three straight Lok Sabha elections with improved numbers each time, Al Jazeera reported.

At least seven exit polls released by Indian media organisations predicted that the BJP and its allies would win 350-380 seats of the 543 in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament.

Refusing to ponder on the exit polls, the opposition INDIA alliance – a group of more than two dozen political outfits hoping to remove the BJP’s Hindu majoritarian government – maintained a stoic confidence that they would secure a majority on counting day.

Exit polls in India have a patchy record and past surveys have both underestimated and overestimated the numbers of different parties. However, they have mostly correctly predicted the larger trends in the last two decades, with some exceptions. Nearly a billion Indians were registered to vote in the giant seven-phase elections that were spread over six weeks and concluded on Saturday evening.

While INDIA is projected to do well in the country’s southern states, most exit polls suggest that the BJP may pull off stunning breakthroughs there too.

Several exit polls predict the BJP could bag two to three seats in Kerala, the last stronghold of the Indian left where Modi’s party has never won; while the BJP may win one to three seats in Tamil Nadu, where it drew a blank in the last elections. These wins, if they materialise, could give the BJP a foothold in opposition bastions where it has struggled for decades.

“The gains in the south are surprising. And predictions suggest a massive gain,” said Asim Ali, a political commentator. “Even if the BJP doesn’t get as many seats [as predicted in the exit polls], the rise in their vote share is a big swing.”

Zafar Islam, a national spokesperson of the BJP, said that the exit polls reflect that the voters “appreciated the BJP’s model of governance, welfare schemes and the vision of PM Modi”.

“The ease of living has improved for the people under Modi’s leadership and that’s why we are looking forward to a historic verdict,” he told Al Jazeera.

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