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Karnataka Elections Exit Poll – Verdict

May 12, 2018

Karnataka Elections Exit Poll

The sun finally sets down on the polling day bringing an end to the one and a half months of grueling campaigning. The polling day saw a huge voter turnout braving the scorching heat in some constituencies, while in others rain failed to dampen the mood of the determined electorates. The state recorded a voter turnout of 70%, as people took time out of their weekend to ensure their active participation in the electoral process of the state.

Karnataka elections have been a roller coaster ride. From politicians indulging in mudslinging to last minute cancellation of elections in an assembly seat, the political battle has enthralled the viewers and readers alike. The three-way battle between Congress-BJP-JD(S) has surely been one of the fiercely contested political battles in the state. However, the majority of the pre-polls predicted a fractured mandate with a hung assembly, as things stand it looks highly likely.

According to our assessment of the recently concluded polling in Karnataka, the electorates have voted for a hung assembly as none of the parties are able. However, the Congress will emerge as the single largest party on May 15. The following table shows the seats won by all three major parties and the others in the state. We have taken into consideration a +-5 seat swings, thus the lowest projection represents the -5 seats swing, while highest projection represents the +5 seats swing:

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 75 85
INC 87 97
JD(S) 30 34
Others 16 20


The Congress party under the leadership of Siddaramaiah emerged as the single largest with 87-97 seats, while ‘BJP wave’ halted in the Southern bastion as party secured 75-85 seats. JD(S) will be the “kingmaker’ as many pre-poll polls had predicted with 30-34 seats. We have broken up the numbers region-wise to give more elaborate details of how the parties have fared region-wise. Let’s take a look at who trumped who in the battle of wits:

Hyderabad Karnataka

One of the most underdeveloped regions in the state, Hyderabad Karnataka has been a Congress bastion over the years but the BJP has made significant inroads in the region dominated by the Congress.

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 9 11
INC 14 17
JD(S) 2 3
Others 2 3

Congress has lost some ground when it comes to Hyderabad Karnataka as people in the region are still looking to reap in the benefits of the Special Economic Package awarded to the state every year.

Bombay Karnataka

Bombay Karnataka shows how both parties have fared against each other in the region as there has been a neck to neck fight, while Congress lost some ground to BJP, it still has got more seats in the region than the BJP.

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 21 23
INC 23 25
JD(S) 2 5
Others 1 2


Coastal Karnataka

Coastal Karnataka is an amalgamation of several distinct castes and religions, the communal politics dominates the scene in the region. Congress and BJP have vote pockets scattered all around the Coastal belt of Karnataka.

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 7 10
INC 10 12
JD(S) 1 3
Others 1 1

However, this region has sprung a surprise as many experts felt that there was positive BJP wave in the region but somehow it failed to reduce the vote-shares of Congress hardly making any inroads on the seats of the grand old party of the country.


Central Karnataka

Central Karnataka is one of the most unpredictable regions as the parties have scattered vote-base in the region. Congress looks likely to scupper past BJP in the region, although the party has lost significant number of seats in Central Karnataka and BJP, on the other hand, has surely made strides in cutting down the seats of the Congress party.

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 10 12
INC 11 13
JD(S) 2 4
Others 10 11


Southern Karnataka

Southern Karnataka has shown us why this election was touted as a three-way battle, the region has always been divided amongst the Congress and JD(S). Somehow, whichever party the people in this region have come out to support. As it is considered one of the most important regions of Karnataka and has definitely played an important role in the formation of the state government.

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 13 16
INC 15 18
JD(S) 14 16
Others 4 6


Bengaluru Karnataka

The most developed region due to the influence of IT industry. Bengaluru Karnataka caters to the urban conglomeration of the Bengaluru and the rural areas of the region known as Bengaluru Rural. This region sees one the lowest number of voter turnout, the people have felt disinterested in the politics as the leaders have time and again failed to pay heed to the urban civic issues. The leaders tend to focus on wooing the slum-dwellers and daily-wage workers, as they are easy to influence and turn up in large number. All the three parties have fared well in the region, even though the Congress party emerged as the largest party in the region followed by BJP and JD(S).

Party Lowest Projection Highest Projection
BJP 7 10
INC 10 12
JD(S) 1 3
Others 1 1

The Karnataka elections have witnessed it all, the three major parties contested with vigor and conviction and till date, the leaders from JD(S)-Congress-BJP remain confident of forming a government on their own. But, somehow, it looks highly unlikely as our assessment suggests that Congress will trump BJP but that won’t be enough to form the government, BJPs hope of returning to power in the Southern territory with clear majority have been dashed, while JD(S) is most likely to act as the “kingmaker”. The next few days are surely going to be entertaining for sure, as parties will look to get past the magical number of 113.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of