In Karnataka, the BJP is once again set to remain as the party winning the most number of Lok Sabha seats despite facing a united opposition, according to multiple pre-poll opinion surveys aired on Monday night. These surveys are the last opinion polls published ahead of the Lok Sabha polls set to be held in seven phases across the country, from April 11 to May 19.
While the Times Now-VMR and IndiaTV-CNX pre-poll surveys have both predicted that BJP will win 16 seats, the Republic TV-CVoter has given the saffron party 15 seats out of the total 28. In all these surveys, the remaining 12-13 seats have been given to the JD(S)-Congress alliance.
The Republic TV-C Voter survey predicts that the JD(S)-Congress alliance will win a higher vote-share of 46.8% as opposed to the NDA's 43.6%, as a result of the pre-poll arrangement and at the same time, other candidates are predicted to gain 9.6% of the votes.
On a similar note, the Times Now-VMR poll has also interestingly predicted that the vote-share of candidates other than of the three major parties, will increase from 4.3% to 10.57%.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 17 seats, and the Congress and JD(S) had won nine and two seats respectively, without having any pre-poll alliance in place.
But this time, the Congress-JD(S) is putting a united front against the saffron party. The Congress will contest 21 seats and partner JD(S) will contest in seven seats. While the BJP is going alone in 27 seats, it has lent support to independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandya, a traditional stronghold of the JD(S).
Karnataka will go to polls in two phases of 14 seats each on April 18 and April 23.
The seats that go for polls in the first phase are Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Mandya, Mysuru-Kodagu, Chamarajanagara, Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru North, Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru South, Chikkaballapura and Kolar.
The other 14 seatsâ€” Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkote, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Ballari, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere and Shivamogga will go to polls on April 23.
Two out of the three surveys have predicted a simple majority for the BJP-led NDA. The India TV-CNX polls have predicted 295 seats for the NDA, 23 seats more than the halfway mark. while the Times Now-VMR has given 279. Meanwhile, the Republic TV-C Voter has predicted 267 seats for the NDA.