Exit polls may not indeed be exact polls like Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said. Even as the exit polls point towards a trend of NDA forming the government and winning with a thumping majority, there have been times when exit polls have gone completely wrong. There are several instances where exit polls got the People's Pulse totally wrong.
2004 Lok Sabha Elections: Most leading exit polls had given the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government a significant lead over the Congress-led alliance. In fact, the numbers stopped short of the 272-mark for the NDA then. But, when the actual result was out, it stunned pollsters and voters, who believed that exit polls would be right. Eventually, the Congress-led UPA formed the government with 225 seats. NDA finished second with 189 seats while others won 129 seats. This example of 2004 elections has been a case to consider every time, exit polls were out.
2014 Lok Sabha Elections: Another time when exit polls went wrong was the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Most of them had predicted that BJP would win but none expected the party to get a bumper majority which crossed the 300 mark with its allies, while the Congress had to face a drubbing defeat.
UP Assembly Elections 2017: Following demonetisation, the Samajwadi party and Congress' alliance wanted to beat the Modi mania in the saffron party's largest powerhouse. The exit polls predicted a hung assembly but in favour of the BJP. But, the BJP surprised all by cross the 300 seats mark in the state, which was something that exit polls totally missed.
Bihar assembly election 2015: In Bihar too, exit polls got it totally wrong. The election that brought Nitish back to power in partnership with Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal which formed the Mahaghatbandhan. While most exit polls predicted a mixed bad for the state, the Most exit polls predicted a mixed picture with no clear majority to any alliance, the RJD-JDU-Congress scored a thumping victory with Lalu Prasad's RJD emerging as the single largest party.
Delhi Assembly Elections 2015: When Arvind Kejriwal believed his party will win Delhi and give a tough fight to the saffron party in the national capital, it also meant the weakening of the Congress. During this time, most o the exit polls said that exit polls predicted that AAP may win but not cross the halfway mark. But, AAP won a thumping 67 seat victory in the 70-member Delhi assembly which the exit polls didn't see coming.
Political observers say that several small organisations have come forward to do surveys as it is quick way to get recognised. On the other hand, such polling surveys have become a huge business where lot of money is funded by political parties themselves to sway public opinion. Therefore, these exit polls results may not be totally true. But, will they go wrong this time? A two-day wait might have the answer!