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Karnataka Elections: Close contest between Congress and BJP in Karnataka: Times Now-VMR exit poll | India News

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NEW DELHI: It will be a down-to-the-wire contest between Congress and BJP in the Karnataka Assembly election with neither party gaining a clear majority, according to early forecasts by the Times Now-BMR exit poll.

The ruling Congress is likely to secure 90-103 seats in the 224-member state assembly, with the BJP coming in at a close second with 80-93 seats. The JD(S) will finish third with 31-39 seats while other parties in the fray will bag 2-4 seats.

Times Now-VMR exit poll data indicates that BJP will significantly improve its performance this time around, with around 87 seats, more than double the 40 seats it secured in the 2013 assembly polls. On the other hand, the Congress party’s seat share will slide down to around 96 seats from its current 122-member strength in the Vidhan Soudha.

The exit poll projections further point to BJP outstripping the Congress in terms of vote-share in central Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka. The ruling Congress will put up a strong showing in coastal, greater Bangalore, old Mysore and Mumbai Karnataka, though the saffron party will better its state-wide vote share considerably — 34.6 per cent, up from 19.89 per cent in 2013.

The Congress party’s overall vote share will decrease to 38.4 per cent from 36.89 per cent in 2013. The JD(S)-BSP combine will record a dip of 1.3 per cent its vote share.

Around 61.25 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in the single-phase Karnataka Assembly elections today. Polling is being held for 222 of the 224 assembly seats and over 2,600 candidates are in the fray.

The election is witnessing a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, the BJP and the JD(S). According to election observers, the JD(S) is expected to play the role of kingmaker in the event of a fractured mandate.

Updated: May 12, 2018 — 12:50 pm

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