Indian General Elections

Exit Polls: How Accurate Are They? A Look Back At 2014 Predictions That Got The Trend Right, Scale Wrong

Written By Daamini Sharma | Mumbai | Published:

The country is eagerly awaiting the election results for 2019 Lok Sabha polls which will be declared on Thursday, May 23, 2019. As the nation dissects the exit polls predicting that the NDA will come back to power, here's a look at the pollsters' 2014 prediction that shows they got the trend right, but not the scale of victory for the BJP-led alliance. 

Pollsters' prediction for NDA: 

Out of the seven main pollsters in 2014, Chanakya proved to be the most accurate, predicting 340 seats for the NDA which eventually won 336 seats. 

Coming close to accurate was the C-Voter exit poll  prediction that gave a simple majority to the NDA,  giving out a count of around 289 seats, while Nielson and CSDS gave 281 and 280 seats respectively to the NDA. 

On the other hand, Cicero predicted that NDA will bag 272 seats whereas ORG forecasted that not more than 249 seats will come into the kitty of the now ruling coalition government. 

Read: Republic Double Exit Poll: 9 Biggest Takeaways From The CVoter, Jan Ki Baat Projections For 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

Pollsters' prediction for UPA: 

For the UPA, Chanakya predicted 70 seats again coming close to the 59 seats that the Congress-led alliance finally concluded with. 

CVoter's exit poll, on the other hand, gave 101 to the UPA, while Nielson and CSDS came around a final figure of 97 seats to the Congress-led alliance. 

Finally, Cicero predicted 115 seats for the UPA which was 33 less than ORG which forecasted 148 seats. 

How accurate exit polls are?​​​​​

The 2014 polls could not predict the scale of the NDA win, but nearly all of them did get the trend right. However, pollsters did not fare that well in 2004 and 2009 with a majority of them getting it wrong. In 2009, the highest prediction for the UPA was 205 but it ended up winning 262 seats. Similarly, in 2004, all the exit polls went horribly wrong after they predicted a win for NDA but it lost the election to the UPA.

Read: Republic-Jan Ki Baat Exit Poll Projection: NDA Will Form The Government, Likely To Cross 300+ Mark Comfortably; Congress To Fall Short Of 100

How close they get to the actual figure will only become clear on May 23. 


Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.

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