How Accurate Were the Karnataka Exit Poll Results in the 2018 Assembly Election?

We take a look at what the prominent exit polls had predicted in 2018, and whether they matched the final results.

3 min read
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The final results of the Karnataka Assembly elections 2023 will only come in on Counting Day, 13 May, but as polling concludes, different pollsters and news channels are releasing their exit poll results.

Exit polls are usually seen as an indicator of polling trends. Sometimes, they have proven to be in sync with the final results, but on other occasions, they have ended up being inaccurate. So, how accurate were the exit polls in the previous Karnataka Assembly election, in 2018?

Here's what the prominent exit polls had predicted in 2018. Let's take a look at the numbers before we get down to the detailed analysis.
We take a look at what the prominent exit polls had predicted in 2018, and whether they matched the final results.
We take a look at what the prominent exit polls had predicted in 2018, and whether they matched the final results.

Note: The actual results mentioned are of the 222 constituencies for which results were announced on Counting Day, 15 May 2018.

The remaining two constituencies had polls on a delayed date. Both seats had been won by the Congress, taking their tally up to 80.


Poll-by-Poll Analysis: Who Got It Right, Who Was off the Mark?

Times Now-VMR was way off the mark, having predicted that Congress would be the single largest party, and the BJP would come second. However, on Counting Day, the opposite turned out to be true.

NewsX-CNX had got it spot on, predicting the Congress, BJP and JDS tallies perfectly!

India Today-Axis was completely wrong, having forecast that Congress would come out as the largest party with 106 to 118 seats, followed by BJP with 79 to 92. As it turned out, Congress could only win 78 and it was BJP that crossed the century mark, with 104 seats.

ABP News-CVoter got the range of their BJP tally right, but overestimated the Congress' haul by quite a bit, and underestimated the JD(S) tally instead.

India TV got it wrong in their exit poll, giving the Congress 97 and the BJP 94. Their tallies for Congress, BJP and JD(S) were all proven to be inaccurate on Counting Day.

Republic-Jan Ki Baat hit the bull's eye with their exit poll, accurately predicting the Congress, BJP and JD(S) tallies, even though the range for their BJP tally was quite wide, from 95 to 114.

So, out of the six exit polls we looked at, three got it completely wrong, two were spot on, and one of them got the leading party's tally right but the other parties' totals wrong.

Overall, the contradictions in the results of the different polls in Karnataka 2018 meant that there was no clear, unanimous pick that came through in the exit polls that year.

Will the exit polls get it right in 2023? None of us will have the answer to that question till 13 May! But do tune in to The Quint on Karnataka's Counting Day as we get you the answer to that question, and much more, with live news, updates and election results analysis.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  JD(S)   exit polls   BJP Karnataka 

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