BJP edge in second phase can’t blunt a split run

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: A pre-poll survey of the 66 constituencies going to the hustings in the second phase on Friday, shows a slight edge for the BJP over the Congress. But all the straws in the wind continue to be pointing towards a hung assembly in the State when votes are counted on May 25.

The survey, with a sample size of 2,500, and to be published tomorrow, says the BJP could end up with between 36-39 of the 66 seats, and the Congress getting between 20-25 seats. The JDS is predicted to get around 5-8 seats.

# If read with the exit poll conducted by NDTV-IMRB, which gave an edge for the BJP in the first phase of elections on May 10, the BJP has a tally of 67-70 seats at the end of end of the second phase of polling, the Congress 43-48, and JDS 35-38.

# If read with the exit poll conducted by Suvarna News by C-Fore, it adds up to 59-67 seats for the Congress at the end of the first two phases of the assembly elections, 60-66 for the BJP, and 25-31 for the JDS.

The findings of the pre-poll survey show a marked fall in the Congress performance from the predictions of the CNN-IBN-Deccan Herald poll, which showed the party surging ahead of the BJP in both central and coastal Karnataka.

With 69 seats up for grabs in the third and final phase, pollsters believe it could be neck and neck for the BJP and Congress, with smaller parties getting to play an important role in the formation of the next government.

If the best-case scenario for the BJP is taken into consideration, it means the party will have to bag 44 of the 69 seats going to the polls in the third phase. The Congress’ best-case scenario means the party will have to bag 47 of the 69. How likely?