The much-awaited exit poll conducted by C-Voter for ABP News indicates that Congress, the main opposition party in Karnataka, is tantalisingly close to achieving simple majority in the southern state which went to the polls on Wednesday.
Contrary to earlier projections and many forecasts by political analysts, the ruling BJP is doing much better than expected, though it is trailing the Congress and is unlikely to remain in power.
The third force in this triangular contest, the JD(S) is projected to be a distant third and appears to be in danger of becoming a marginal player in the state.
As per the ABP/C-Voter Exit Poll data, the Congress is likely to win between 100 and 112 seats in the elections. A party needs 113 seats for a simple majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.
The Congress had won 80 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections. As per the exit poll data, the Congress is projected to get 41.1 per cent of the vote share, which is up 3.1 per cent as compared to its share in the 2018 elections.
The surprise is the projected performance of the ruling BJP. The C-Voter opinion polls conducted in March and April had indicated strong anti-incumbency sentiments against the BJP government. But the party seems to have recovered.
As per the exit poll data, the BJP is projected to win between 83 and 95 seats. In 2018, the party had won 104 seats. The projected vote share for the BJP is 38.3 per cent, which is 2.3 pert cent better than its 2018 vote share of 36 per cent.
With both the Congress and the BJP gaining in vote share, the loser seems to be JD(S). The vote share for the party is projected to be at 14.6 per cent, which is a 3.4 per cent decline compared to 2018. The party is projected to win between 21 and 29 seats.
The election results will be declared on May 13.
( 343 Words)