Absolutely the last bloody poll we will publish

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Not because good sense has dawned on us but because the Election Commission has banned the publication of all opinion and exit polls from 3pm Tuesday, April 14, till the end of the last phase of polling of the 15th general elections are announced on May 13.

Meantime, the findings of the NDTV opinion poll done in conjunction with GfK-Mode to chew on. Sample size: 50,000.

UPA 205-215, NDA 160-170, Third Front 120-130.

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The veteran political observer Sheela Bhatt paints some post-poll scenarios on rediff.com:

1. If the Congress gets 20 seats more than the BJP the momentum to form the next government will be with the Congress.

2. If the Congress is in the lead position on May 16, the day of counting, and if the Left has 35 or more seats, then post-election the first tussle will be between them.

3. If the combined strength of the Congress and BJP does not touch 272 seats then the Third Front will grab the leadership in negotiating new alliances and will try to present a cohesive facade. In that case the Congress will be surely the kingmaker.

4. If and when the Congress sees that it is not in a position to form the government it may try to play kingmaker. The BJP can also enter the ring and sponsor Sharad Pawar, Jaylalithaa or Nitish Kumar.

5. If the BJP becomes the single largest party with some 25 or more seats than the Congress it will be a big surprise of this election.

6. Even if Mayawati gets 35 to 45 seats, she will be the most opposed leader after the election.

Read the full article: Elections 2009 seems like 543 mini-elections

Graphic: courtesy NDTV