Exit polls have predicted a return of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, though with fewer seats than last time. The surveys show the BJP getting between 225 and 245 of UP’s 403 seats, all of them giving the party a comfortable majority. A party needs to win 202 seats to form government in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP, along with its allies, had won 325 seats in 2017, crushing all competition.

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Today’s exit polls, released after the seventh and last round of polling in Uttar Pradesh, predict that the Samajwadi Party will still be the number 2 party in the state, but with a much bigger haul of seats than the last time. Exit polls often get it wrong, including in 2017, when none of them saw the massive landslide that the BJP eventually won.

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NewsX-Polstrat have predicted that the BJP, along with its allies, will win between 211-225, the SP-led alliance between146-160 and the BSP between 14-24 seats. The Congress, the survey says, will have to make do with 4 to 6 seats, even lower than the 7 seats it had won last time.

ETG Research has predicted that BJP+ is likely to win 230-245 seats, while Congress is likely to win 2-6 seats, SP+150-165 seats and BSP is likely to win 5-10 seats.

Republic-CNX predicted that the BJP+ will win about 262-277 seats, SP+ will win 119-135 seats, the BSP will win 7-15 seats and Congress is likely to win 3-8 seats.

Times Now-VETO predicted that BJP+ is likely to win 225 seats, while SP+ is likely to win 151 seats, BSP likely to win 14 seats, Congress is likely to win 9 seats and others are likely to win 4 seats.

What are exit polls?

An exit poll is a survey of voters leaving polling stations after casting their ballots. Various organisations conduct exit polls using different methods.

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The accuracy of exit polls has been a subject of debate over the years. Experts state that they aren’t accurate and only provide a broad trend and a sense of direction as to the mood of the nation.

There are many different methods and procedures used by agencies conducting exit polls. Sampling is one of the most common techniques. Agencies may choose random or systematic sampling.

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In 2017, most exit polls predicted a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh, with the BJP emerging as the largest party. However, when the final vote was counted, BJP and its allies won 325 of the 403 seats.

The elections in Uttar Pradesh were held in seven phases for 403 seats. The election for 349 seats was conducted in six phases on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3, while the last phase, covering 54 seats, is being held today, March 7.

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On February 14, Goa and Uttarakhand, two of the five states that voted, held a single phase of voting. In Uttarakhand, there are 70 seats in the Assembly, compared to 40 in Goa.

On February 20, Punjab held its elections in a single phase. There were two phases of voting in the hill state of Manipur – on February 28 and March 5.

The results for Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will be announced on March 10, 2022.