The Polstrat Assembly Election 2021 Exit Poll was conducted with a sample size of 10,000, a margin of error of 3% and a confidence interval of 95%. Watch the broadcast of our exit poll on TV9 Bharatvarsh here.
The Assembly Elections in West Bengal were held between March 27 and April 29, 2021, in 8 phases for all 292 constituencies (voting for 2 constituencies was delayed and is scheduled to be held on 16 May 2021). Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) won the last Assembly Election in the state in 2016 with a vote share of 44.91% and 211 seats. The AITC is fighting to win a third term in the state with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance. Another major front contesting the elections is the Indian National Congress in alliance with the Left.
The Polstrat x TV9 Bharatvarsh exit poll for the 2021 election predicts that the TMC will retain power in the state but with a smaller majority, winning 142 to 152 seats in the 292 seat assembly. This will be a major setback for the TMC as compared to the 2016 elections where it managed to secure 211 seats. On the other hand, its vote share will only drop by 1.7% from 45.6% in 2016 to 43.90% in 2021. This is in line with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the party was able to secure 43.7% of the votes winning 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP, which emerged as the principal challenger to the TMC in 2021, is slated to make a big gain both in terms of seats and votes, increasing its tally from just 3 seats and a vote share of 10.3% in 2016 to anywhere between 125 to 135 seats and a vote share of 40.50% this time. The BJP had made its way into the state during the 2019 General Elections as it managed to secure a vote share of 40.64% and 18 seats.
According to the exit poll, the seat gain of the BJP in 2021 will come from both the TMC and the Congress+Left, with both losing out on anywhere between 59–49 & 57–47 seats respectively in favour of the BJP. Congress+Left, the third major alliance in the state will not be able to retain its former position in the assembly with its seat share dropping to a range as low as 16 to 26 seats. Its vote share will see a fall of 23.5% coming down to just 10.70% votes in 2021.
Across demographics, all the three major alliances and parties did not see a major difference in the votes received from males and females. For the TMC, more females (45.20% ) voted in favour of it as compared to males (42.60%). Whereas for the BJP, males (42.90%) showered more support for it than females (38.10%).
When looking at the caste and class differences, the BJP is slated to get a majority chunk of the support from the SC & ST community with 58.10% of the SC & ST respondents saying they voted for the BJP. The TMC on the other hand, received much lesser support from the SC &ST community, with only 29.40% SC+ST respondents saying they voted for TMC. The Congress + Left alliance failed to cut through the caste barrier in any big way, and according to the poll, only 7.90% of SC+ST respondents said they voted for the alliance.
In terms of minority votes, the Congress + Left, which has held the Muslim vote bank in the past, failed to retain the support of the community, with the poll predicting that majority of the community’s support will go to the TMC (70.00%). Around 14.10% of Muslims said they voted for the Congress and Left alliance, while the BJP managed to garner 14.00% of Muslim votes.
Votes from the Hindu community (other than SC & ST community) leaned more in favour of the BJP which received 49.50% of their support while the TMC received a much lesser share of 32.40% of their votes. Only 10.0% of Hindus said they voted for the Congress + Left alliance.
The 2021 Assembly Elections in Assam were held from March 27 to April 6 in three phases, to elect 126 MLAs to the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-led NDA won the last Assembly Election in the state in 2016 with a vote share of 41.9% and 86 seats. The Congress-led UPA is fighting to win back the state after holding on to it for three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2016. The state also witnessed the emergence of a new line of parties like Assam Jatiya Parishad & Raijor Dal driven mainly by the anti-CAA wave. The Assam 2021 election also saw some major change in alliances with the BJP’s long-time ally, the Bodoland People’s Front, leaving the NDA to join the Congress-led UPA.
The Polstrat x TV9 Bharatvarsh exit poll for the 2021 election predicts that the BJP-led NDA will find it hard to retain power in the state with the UPA marching close to it by securing just anywhere between 4–5 seats lesser than the incumbent alliance. According to the new alliance forged for 2021, NDA’s seat share will fall from 74 in 2016 to roughly in the range of 59–69 in 2021. However, this will translate into an increase in vote share by 3.7% to 41.70%. The Congress-led Grand Alliance in the state will be able to increase its tally from 51 seats in 2016 to anywhere between 55 to 65 in 2021. Its vote share will see a drop of 3.9% to 45.40%. In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the NDA managed to secure 64% of the votes as against the UPA’s 22%, a trend which is no longer seen as per the Polstrat x TV9 Bharatvarsh exit poll for 2021.
In terms of support across caste lines, 53.90% of the SC+ST respondents said they voted for the BJP-led NDA with the UPA much behind at 31.90%. Whereas, the Muslims in the state tend to stick to the UPA with a striking 79.90% of them saying they have voted for the Congress-led alliance. BJP was nowhere near this in garnering the minority community’s support and was only able to secure around 13.30% of their votes.
The ‘Other Hindus’ voted almost on the similar lines as the SC+ST community with 57.90% voting for the BJP-led NDA and 24.40% voting for the Congress-led UPA.
When looking at the gender divide, male & female respondents were more or less balanced in their voting practices when it came to the NDA with a slightly higher 0.80% female support for the alliance (male-41.30%; female-42.10%). For the Congress-led UPA, the wedge was double at 1.6% with 44.60% males voting for it compared to 46.20% females.
The Assembly Elections in Kerala were held on April 6, 2021, in a single phase for all 140 constituencies. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF formed the government in 2016 with a vote share of 43.48% and 91 seats. In a state with a high anti-incumbency factor, the two major alliances, LDF and UDF, have never been able to retain power in the state for two consecutive terms in the last 40 years. This time, with Kerala floods and the handling of COVID on its back, the CPM-led Left government is fighting to retain power in the state and break the trend of anti-incumbency.
The Polstrat x TV9 Bharatvarsh exit poll for the 2021 election predicts that the LDF has a chance of breaking the anti-incumbency curse but with a close call of winning anywhere between 70 to 80 seats in the 140 seat assembly. It is slated to face a loss of seats ranging roughly between 21 to 11 but with only a minor drop of 0.78% in its vote share to 42.70%.
Congress-led UDF will gain the seats lost by the incumbent LDF and increase its seat share to somewhere between 59 to 69 seats in 2021. The UDF will also increase its vote share by a small margin (1.29%), securing 40.10% in 2021. The BJP is set to neither gain nor lose in any big way as it’s tally of 1 seat in 2016 might fall to 0 or rise to 2. The vote share of the BJP will also remain largely unchanged at 15.40% (a small rise of 0.44%).
The Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu were held on April 6, 2021, in a single phase, to elect 234 MLAs to the 16th Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. During the 2016 assembly elections, the AIADMK retained power in the state by securing 136 seats, while the DMK increased its strength to 98 seats. 2021 elections are the first time around that both major stalwarts of AIADMK and the DMK, Jayalalitha and M Karunanidhi are not in the fray. The two alliances are fighting to strengthen their position and establish new leadership in the state.
According to the Polstrat-TV9 Bharatvarsh Exit Poll for the 2021 elections, AIADMK+ will be unable to retain its government in the state and its seat count will come down from 136 in 2016 to anywhere between 75 to 85 in 2021. A major chunk of the seats will go to the DMK+ alliance which will emerge as the dominant alliance in the state increasing its seat share from 98 in 2016 to 147 in 2021. AIADMK+ alliance’s vote share will fall from 41.3% in 2016 to 36.80% in 2021. DMK+, on the other hand, will see a jump of 5.60% in vote share to 44.90%. The exit poll also predicts that ‘Other’ parties will secure a vote share of 18.30% and can win seats ranging between 2 to 12 this time.
The Assembly Elections to the Puducherry Legislature were held in one phase on April 6, 2021 to elect 30 MLAs. The state, which is currently under President’s rule brought a change of power in 2016 as the All India N.R. Congress (AINRC) lost its majority to the Indian National Congress (INC). INC emerged victorious with 15 seats and formed a government with the support of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which won 2 seats.
This year Puducherry is witnessing a direct contest between the Congress-DMK alliance and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comprising the All India NR Congress (AINRC), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to the Polstrat-TV9 Bharatvarsh Exit Poll for the 2021 elections, the state is slated to see the current NDA rise to power by securing anywhere between 17 to 19 seats from 12 seats in 2016. The alliance will witness its vote share increase from 45.7% in 2016 to 51.80% in 2021.
UPA, which managed to garner 17 seats with a vote share of 40.1% will see its tally come down to 11 to 13 seats and a reduced vote share of 38.30%.
By Shreya Maskara and Damini Mehta/New Delhi
From Polstrat, a non-partisan political consultancy which aims to shift the narrative of political discourse in the country from a problem-centric to a solutions-oriented approach.