With all the results of the Kerala Assembly elections having been declared on Thursday, the LDF’s tally of 86 seats falls squarely between the limits of different exit poll predictions.
As per the Election Commission of India, the final tally reads as follows: LDF-86, UDF-47, BJP-1, Others-6.
After polling concluded on May 16, most exit polls projected a comfortable victory for the CPI(M)-led LDF that was slated to go way past the halfway mark. But they also predicted four seats for the BJP-led NDA, which was significant, considering the party has hitherto not opened its account in Kerala.
According to exit polls conducted by Times Now and C-Voter, LDF was set to secure 74-82 seats, UDF 54-62 seats and NDA 0-4 seats. Today's Chanakya gave LDF 75 ± 9 seats, UDF 57 ± 9 seats, BJP+ 08 ± 4 seats and 0 ± 1 seat for other parties. The India Today-Axis My India exit poll had predicted a clean sweep for the LDF with 88-101 seats, with the UDF predicted to get 38-48 seats, the NDA 0-3 seats, and Others 1-4 seats.
The various pre-poll surveys conducted in the run-up to the assembly polls had also given the CPI (M)-led LDF an edge over the Congress-led UDF owing to the scams that the latter was embroiled in, coupled with the anti-incumbency factor.
On April 23, an opinion poll by Asianet News predicted that the LDF would bag 40 per cent of the votes, while the UDF would secure 37 per cent followed by the BJP with an 18 per cent vote share. This more or less reinforced the results of an earlier Asianet poll that had predicted the LDF winning a vote share of 41 per cent.
Interestingly, a pre-poll survey by Times Now-C-Voter and CNN-IBN published in April had predicted a higher number of seats for the Left than the exit polls, at 86.
It predicted that the LDF vote-share would increase marginally by 0.2 percent — vis-à-vis 2011 — to 43.8 percent in 2016. UDF was likely to see a decline in its vote-share from 45.8 percent in 2011 to 41.3 percent in 2016. Aside from the two behemoths, NDA’s vote share was expected to see a rise of 3.9 percent from 6.1 per cent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2016.