Exit Polls Predict Overwhelming Victory for Narendra Modi in Landmark Indian Election

According to exit polls published on Saturday, Narendra Modi is set to secure a third five-year term as India’s prime minister. These polls forecast a decisive victory for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its smaller allies.

Polls from six Indian TV stations and agencies indicated that the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would win a majority of between 353 and 401 seats in India’s 543-seat Lok Sabha, or lower house.

This majority would grant Modi a strong mandate to form the next government, extending his tenure as prime minister into a second decade.

Narendra Modi election 2024 results
Narendra Modi election 2024 results

In the previous election in 2019, the NDA won 352 lower house seats, with the BJP alone securing 303. The Election Commission of India is expected to release official results on June 4.

“All pollsters have given the BJP a very comfortable victory,” said Rahul Verma, a fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi think tank. “Some are even suggesting that the BJP will surpass the 300 mark again, or perhaps improve on that.”

The exit polls were released following the final round of voting on Saturday afternoon, after a ban on publishing opinion polls during the seven-phase election, which began on April 19, was lifted.

The election was conducted in stages due to the logistical challenges of casting ballots and securing polling stations in a country with diverse geographies and nearly 1 billion registered voters.

These results provide the first indications of the composition of India’s next parliament after an election that many viewed as a referendum on Modi’s decade in power.

If these predictions are confirmed on Tuesday when official results are announced, the victory will enhance Modi’s image as a powerful global leader steering a fast-growing economy at a time when India’s geopolitical influence is expanding.

Exit polls have historically had a mixed record in predicting India’s election outcomes, but they have become more accurate in recent years. In 2014 and 2019, the exit polls correctly forecast victories for the BJP-led NDA but underestimated the number of seats Modi’s bloc would win.

“I think this is exactly how things will pan out, and we will see a resounding victory for Modi and the BJP for a third consecutive term without any difficulty,” Shazia Ilmi, a national spokesperson for the BJP, told the Financial Times.

India’s 73-year-old leader campaigned on the slogan “Modi’s guarantee,” highlighting government welfare programs that benefit hundreds of millions of Indians, his efforts in reducing poverty, and his role in developing the world’s fifth-largest economy. India’s GDP grew at a better-than-expected rate of 7.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to March and has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies since the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the campaign, the opposition INDIA alliance criticized the BJP’s economic record, including persistently high unemployment, and accused it of attempting to weaken the opposition by imprisoning two state leaders and freezing some Congress bank accounts on the eve of the election.

Hours before the exit poll results were released, senior members of the opposition alliance, including Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, met. Some claimed that they were poised to win.

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