A slew of exit polls that were released within hours of polls closing on Saturday predicted a tight race between the two main rivals — BJP and Congress — in the Karnataka Assembly elections with a hung Assembly as most likely, with JD(S) likely to emerge as the possible kingmaker.
Barring Times Now’s Today’s Chanakya poll which gave a clean majority to the BJP, predicting a near sweep by the party with 120 seats, all the other exit polls indicated the possibility of a hung Assembly in the state.
Exit polls by India Today-Axis My India (106-118), India TV-VMR (97) and Suvarna TV (106-118) gave the incumbent Congress government an edge. For the BJP, they predicted 79-92, 87 and 79-92, respectively.
However, exit polls conducted by NewsX-CNX, Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat and ABP News-CVoter said that the BJP would emerge as the single largest party. While Republic TV said BJP would get 104, ABP News-C Voter said the BJP would get 101-113 seats and NewsX-CNX said it would get 102-110 seats. These channels gave the Congress 78, 82-94 and 72-78 seats, respectively.
However, in almost all scenarios, the Janata Dal (Secular) emerges as a possible kingmaker. All polls predicted between 18-40 seats for the party which is fighting the polls in alliance with the BSP.