Polstrat-News X Exit Poll predicts Mamta Banerjee's return
With the voting for the West Bengal state assembly polls concluding all eyes are now set on the results to be counted on May 2.
With balloting ending on Thursday evening, Polstrat and News X conducted an exit poll with a sample size of 10,000 to gauge the mind of the electorate.
The Polstrat-News X exit poll for the 2021 election predicts that despite an aggressive campaign by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Mamata Banerjee and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) are set to retain the Writers Building.
While the TMC's margin is likely to shrink, its candidates will win in 142-152 seats in the 292 seat assembly. The assembly elections in West Bengal were held between March 27 and April 29, 2021 in eight phases for all 292 constituencies (voting for 2 constituencies was delayed and is scheduled to be held on 16 May 2021).
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led AITC won the last Assembly Election in the state in 2016 with a vote share of 44.91 percent and 211 seats. The AITC is fighting to win a third term in the state in a direct contest with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
Another major front contesting the elections is the Indian National Congress in alliance with the Left. The exit polls results indicate a setback for 'Didi' as compared to the 2016 elections where it managed to secure 211 seats.
On the other hand, its vote share will only drop by 1.7 percent from 45.6 percent in 2016 to 43.90 percent in 2021. This is in line with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the party was able to secure 43.7 percent of the votes winning 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP, which emerged as the principal challenger to the TMC in 2021, is slated to make a big gain both in terms of seats and votes, increasing its tally from just 3 seats and a vote share of 10.3 percent in 2016 to anywhere between 125-135 seats and a vote share of 40.50 percent this time.
The BJP had made its way into the state during the 2019 General Elections as it managed to secure a vote share of 40.64 percent and 18 seats. According to the exit poll, the seat gain of the BJP in 2021 will come from both TMC and the Congress+Left, with both losing out on anywhere between 59-49 and 57-47 seats respectively in favour of the BJP.
Congress and the Left, the third major alliance in the state will not be able to retain its former position in the assembly with its seat share dropping to a range as low as 16 to 26 seats. Its vote share will see a fall of 23.5 percent coming down to just 10.70 percent votes in 2021. The Congress and Left combine are expected to 16 26 seats. The margin of error in the exit poll is 3 percent.
BJP - 125-135
LEFT + CONG- 16-26