The ruling Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party (JDU-BJP) coalition might fall a tad short of majority in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly, exit polls showed after the third and final phase of voting in the state on Saturday. While the Times Now-CVoter survey has given this alliance 116 seats, the ABP News-CVoter poll has given it 104-128 seats. Challenger Mahagathbandhan, led by Tejashvi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is seen bagging 120 seats in the Times Now poll, and 108-131 seats in the ABP News one.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), led by Chirag Paswan, son of former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, could win only one to three seats, according to the polls. Republic Jan Ki Baat exit poll, meanwhile, says the NDA is set to bag 91-117 seats while the MGB will walk away with 118-138. Further, it predicts LJP may win 5-8 seats. NDTV's Poll of Polls, a prediction based on other tallies, projects 124 seats for the opposition coalition, while the ruling one is seen getting 103 seats. TV9 Bharatvarsh's poll similarly puts the MGB ahead with 115-125 seats while predicting 110-120 seats for the NDA. LJP, according to the poll, will bag 13-18 seats. According to NewsX DV Research, RJD's seat share is expected between 108-123, while the NDA is expected between 110-117. Today's Chanakya, however, has predicted a massive victory for the RJD-led coalition with 180 seats, while the BJP-JD(U) coalition is seen bagging only 55. India Today-My Axis, too, has predicted a win for the MGB with a seat share between 139 and 161. The ruling coalition, it says, will bag 69-91 seats and the LJP will be left with 3-5. India Today-My Axis, meanwhile, carried a poll for the most preferred CM candidate among voters in Bihar. Tejashwi Yadav topped the list with 44 per cent respondents preferring him, while incumbent Nitish Kumar came second with 35 per cent backing him. As far as vote share of parties is concerned, Today's Chanakya predicted 34 per cent for the ruling coalition.
The MGB, it says, will bag 44 per cent of the votes.
The BJP-JD(U) alliance had earlier announced that incumbent Nitish Kumar would remain its chief ministerial even if the BJP bagged more seats than the JD(U). Later, Kumar announced that this would be his last election.
The BJP contested the Bihar Assembly polls 2020 in 121 seats, and the JD (U) in 122. Among the parties that contested the polls as part of the Mahagathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, the RJD contested in 144 seats, the Congress in 70, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) in 19; the Communist Party of India in six, and the (Communist Party of India-Marxist) in four.
The LJP, which is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, decided to go it alone in the state polls. The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), another state party that was formerly an ally of the BJP, allied with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) to form the Grand Secular Democratic Front.
Bihar election exit poll in 2015
In 2015, under the combined leadership of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, the Mahagathbandhan had stopped the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) juggernaut. The experiment, however, could not last long. In 2017, Kumar switched sides to form a government with the BJP.
In 2015, barring Axis APM, all pollsters had failed to predict the outcome of Bihar Assembly elections correctly. Today's Chanakya had forecast a two-thirds majority for the BJP-led NDA with 144-166 seats. NDTV, too, had predicted a BJP-led government in Bihar, the ABP-Nielsen exit poll had foreseen a Grand Alliance victory but failed to anticipate the extent of its success and the BJP’s reduced tally.