Most of the opinion polls predicted an NDA victory in 2004. And yet it lost. While most opinion polls did predict a UPA victory in 2009, none of them saw the huge leap Congress would make in terms of Lok Sabha seats.
So what if the polls get it wrong this time and we have a Third Front government backed by the Congress? While that could be possible, it is still a very long shot due a number of factors…
1. Vote share versus LS seats: One thing to be noted is that though all these polls usually get the vote share right, they usually get the LS seat conversion wrong, especially when the contests are close.
Like in 1999, the Congress was just ahead of the BJP by a few percentage points in vote share, but still the BJP was way ahead in LS seats.
In 2004 even though both retained the same vote share, the Congress emerged marginally ahead in LS seats! This time, depending which poll you are looking at, the BJP is ahead of the Congress by 8-12%.
Anyone following the fractured and close nature of recent general elections will tell you that this is too huge a difference to go wrong.
That the BJP would emerge as the single-largest party is a foregone conclusion. Initially it was touted that BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would never get allies.
Many thought that he would need 200-220 seats to be acceptable.
But with the way allies are flocking to Modi, he can be PM even with 180 seats.
Voters wait in queues to cast their votes outside a polling booth