Voters in 89 constituencies in 11 districts of Karnataka go to vote tomorrow. It reveals the deep polarisation within the media as within the polity that the pre-poll surveys do not see eye to eye even marginally. While one poll says it’s 42-45 for the Congress in the first phase, another says it’s 40 for the BJP.

Opinion polls can differ, of course, because of the methodology used, the experience of the pollster, the proximity of the poll dates, etc, but can they be arriving at such diametrically opposite conclusions when professionals are polling similar sets of voters on a similar set of issues?

Clearly, our pollsters are beginning to look like ladies tailors, stitching anything to the “design” specifications and ideological inclinations of the newspaper or television channel picking up the tab.

A bit of padding here, a small tuck there. Even one size extra for “future growth”.

Where this leaves the credibility of the media and psephology in the eyes of the people, knows god.

The key problem with polls is that they only provide a macro view, a broad trend as visible from the top, as if we are sheep who all think, act and vote the same way. None of the polls have attempted a constituency-wise calibration of what is likely to happen. And, the polls seem to think that the three major parties are the only ones in the race, as if the smaller parties and independents don’t count. is pleased to offer an amateur, grassroots look.

S.S. KARNADSHA and R. KANNAN toured all the eleven districts going to the polls tomorrow. They say the Congress will end up with 41, BJP 21, JDS 21, CPM 1, BSP 1, Janata Dal United 1, Sarvodaya Paksha 1, Vatal Paksha 1, Republican Party of India 1.

Among our key findings:

# It’s going to be neck-and-neck between the Congress (14) and BJP (11) for Bangalore’s 28 seats.

# It’s not going to be a washout for the JDS in the southern districts as most opinion polls seem to think.

# “Rebel Star” Ambarish might not just lose in Srirangapatna, he might end up third behind the Sarvodaya Paksha, JDS. Shobha Karandlaje could win Yeshwanthpur.

These findings may still go wrong, but at least the same allegations of urban, ivory tower, Bangalore-Mysore bias can’t be flung at us. Not only do we suggest where the parties might stand in each district, we also predict who is going to win constituency by constituency, district by district. So you can always check back to see if we were right or not, and call us names.


TUMKUR: JDS 5, Congress 4, BJP 2

Chikkanayakanahalli: JDS, C.B. Suresh Babu
Tiptur: JDS, B. Nanjamari
Turvekere: JDS, M.T. Krishnappa
Kunigal: JDS, D. Nagarajaiah
Tumkur city: BJP, S. Shivanna
Tumkur rural: BJP, B. Suresh Gowda
Koratagere, SC reserved: Congress, G. Parameshwar
Gubbi: JDS, S.R. Srinivas
Sira: Congress, T.B. Jayachandra
Pavagada, SC reserved: Congress Gayatri Devi
Madhugiri: Congress, K.N. Rajanna



Gauribidanur: Congress, N.H. Shivashankara Reddy
Bagepalli: CPM, G.V. Srirama Reddy
Chikkaballapur: Congress, Ashwathnarayana Reddy
Sidlaghatta: Congress, V. Muniyappa
Chintamani: Congress, Dr M.C. Sudhakar


KOLAR: Congress 2, BJP 1, JDS 1, RPI 1

Srinivasapura: JDS, G.K. Venkatashiva Reddy
Mulbagal, SC reserved: JDS, Muni Anjanappa
Kolar Gold Fields, SC reserved: RPI, S. Rajendran
Bangarpet, SC reserved: BJP, B.P. Venkata Muniyappa
Kolar: Congress, K. Srinivasa Gowda
Malur: BJP, S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty


BANGALORE: Congress 14, BJP 11, JDS 3

Yelahanka: BJP, S.R. Vishwanath
K.R. Pura: Congress, A. Krishnappa
Byatarayanpura: Congress, Krishna Byre Gowda
Yeshwanthpur: BJP, Shobha Karandlaje
Rajarajeswarinagar: BJP, M. Srinivas
Dasarahalli: Congress, K.C. Ashok
Mahalakshmi Layout: JDS, Gopalaiah
Malleswaram: Congress, M.R. Seetharam
Hebbal: BJP, Katta Subramanya Naidu
Pulakeshinagar, SC reserved: Congress, B. Prasanna Kumar
Sarvagnanagar: Congress, K.J. George
C.V. Raman Nagar, SC reserved: BJP, S. Raghu
Shivajinagar: Congress, Roshan Baig
Shantinagar: BJP, D.U. Mallikarjun
Gandhinagar: Congress, Dinesh Gundu Rao
Rajajinagar: BJP, S. Suresh Kumar
Govindarajanagar: Congress, V. Somanna
Vijayanagar: Congress, M. Krishnappa
Chamarajpet: JDS, Zameer Ahmed
Chickpet: BJP, Hemachandra Sagar
Basavangudi: Congress, K. Chandrashekar
Padmanabhanagar: JDS, M.V. Prasad Babu
BTM Layout: Congress, Ramalinga Reddy
Jayanagar: BJP, B.N. Vijaya Kumar
Mahadevpura, SC reserved: BJP, Aravind Limbavalli
Bommanahalli: Congress, Kupendra Reddy
Bangalore South: BJP, M. Krishnappa
Anekal, SC reserved: Congress, B. Gopal



Hosakote: BJP, B.N. Bacche Gowda
Devanahalli, SC reserved: JDS, G. Chandranna
Doddaballpur: JDS, C. Chennigappa
Nelamangala, SC reserved: Congress, Anjana Murthy


RAMANAGARA/M: JDS 3, Congress 1

Magadi: JDS, H.C. Balakrishna
Ramanagaram: JDS, H.D. Kumaraswamy
Kanakapura: Congress, D.K. Shiva Kumar
Chennapatna: JDS, M.C. Ashwath


MANDYA: JDS 3, Congress, 1, BJP 1, JDU 1, Sarvodaya Paksha 1

Malavalli, SC reserved: JDU, B. Somashekar
Maddur: BJP, Madhu Made Gowda
Melukote: JDS, C.S. Putta Raju
Mandya: JDS, M. Srinivas
Srirangapatna: Sarvodaya, Nanjunde Gowda
Nagamangala: JDS, N. Cheluvarayaswamy
Krishnarajpet: Congress, K.B. Chandrashekar


HASSAN: Congress 3, JDS 3, BJP 1

Shravanabelagola: Congress, H.C. Srikantaiah
Arsikere: BJP, B N. Ravi
Belur: Congress, Y.N. Rudresh Gowda
Hassan: JDS, H.S. Prakash
Holenarsipur: JDS, H.D. Revanna
Arkalgud: Congress, A. Manju
Sakleshpur, SC reserved: JDS, H.K. Kumaraswamy


COORG: Congress 2

Mercara: Congress, B.A. Jivijaya
Virajpet: Congress, Veena Achaiah


MYSORE: Congress 8, BJP 3

Periyapatna: Congress, K. Venkatesh
K.R. Nagar: Congress, H. Vishwanath
Hunsur: BJP, G.T. Deve Gowda
H.D. Kote, ST reserved: Congress, Chikkanna
Nanjangud, SC reserved: Congress, V. Srinivasa Prasad
Chamundeshwari: Congress, M. Satyanarayana
Krishnaraja: BJP, S.A. Ramadas
Chamaraja: BJP, H.S. Shankarlinge Gowda
Narasimharaja: Congress, Tanveer Sait
Varuna: Congress, Siddaramaiah
T Narsipur, SC reserved: Congress, H.C. Mahadevappa


CHAMARAJANAGAR: Congress 2, BSP 1, Vatal Paksha 1

Hanur: Congress, R. Narendra
Kollegal, SC reserved: BSP, N. Mahesh
Chamarajanagar: Vatal Paksha, Vatal Nagaraj
Gundlupet: Congress, H.S. Mahadeva Prasad


METHODOLOGY: How did we crunch these numbers?

1. We went to at least one constituency in each of the 11 districts.

2. We studied the voting pattern of each constituency since 1978 using Election Commission data.

3. In the case of constituencies that have been newly created or spiked due to delimitation of seats, we have examined the chunks that have moved or have been clubbed together.

4. We have looked at each contesting candidate and have drawn a winnability graph keeping local factors in mind. Aspects like personal charisma, nurturing constituency with development projects, and also party-hopping have been factored in.

5. We have cross-checked our lists with strategists of all major political parties. We have discounted their claims when they have been bombastic and accommodated them when they have been realistic.

6. We have studied the percentage of votes polled by each party and the victory margins of all seats in the 2004 election. We have given the benefit of doubt to the runner up in 2004 elections if he has lost by a thin margin and is contesting again. In some cases it is the runner up political party that gets this advantage although they have changed the candidate.

7. Due to the strict EC poll code we have given very little chance to new faces and parties entering a constituency for the first time. We believe that the process of new faces or new parties getting registered in the minds of voters has not happened.

8. We have checked the BSP factor by looking at their presence and performance in all constituencies in the 2004 elections.

9. Although there is a close contest in some constituencies we stick our head out and give only name per constituency.