Exit polls are like the weekly fortune forecast. Whether you believe them or not, newspapers publish them without fail. Similarly, for exit polls too. With the end of the polling on Sunday of the last and seventh phase of the 2019 General Elections, ExitPolls2019 is trending on Twitter. And you’ll be forgiven if you thought GameofThronesFinale -- which is also trending on Twitter -- was a euphemism for our mother of all poll battles.
Most exit polls forecast a majority for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha polls with varying numbers, according to PTI. Two exit polls telecast by Times Now gave the NDA 296 and 306 seats, while they projected 126 and 132 for the Congress-led UPA.
The CVoter-Republic exit poll has forecast 295 and 122 seats for the NDA and UPA respectively. However, Neta-News X predicted that the NDA could fall short of the majority and win 242 seats. It gave the UPA 164 seats.
An exit poll on News 18 forecast that the NDA will win 336 seats while it gave 82 seats for the UPA.
Many exit polls predicted that SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh is likely to trump the BJP in the country's politically most crucial state. The BJP had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two of its 80 seats in 2014.
The saffron alliance may not touch even halfway mark of 40 in Uttar Pradesh this time, some exit polls said. However, many news channels are yet to give a final figure.
The results of the 2019 General Elections will be announced on May 23 when the counting of the votes will be undertaken.
The 2019 polls, held from April 11 to May 19, will decide which party presides over the 17th Lok Sabha. Elections were held for 542 seats, and the party that gets the majority mark of 272 will be the winner.
As expected, the fallout of the exit polls has taken a life of its own, especially across the Internet with political parties from both sides of the spectrum airing their views.
Watch the stock markets
But the biggest barometer to test any exit poll is the reaction of the markets. It will no doubt set the tone for the equity markets in the initial part of the week, until the final results on May 23.
Investors should also brace for bouts of volatility in view of the high-octane election related events, according to stock market analysts. Experts feel that bourses may be indecisive till the final election outcome is known.
"This week there is an event that is able to produce long-term trends in the market and is the factor that sets the tone for wealth creation. The political events like election results usually produce trends that last for years. Hence, it becomes very important for the economy and investors," said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research, to PTI.
“There can be sharp movement in the markets but the exit polls bring some decisiveness on the table as well,” he added. Jimeet Modi, Founder and CEO, SAMCO Securities & StockNote, said,
"This week is going to be the most happening of the year wherein all eyes would be glued not to 'stock quotes' but 'vote quotes'."
Quarterly earnings would also impact trading as some major companies are scheduled to announce their financial report card this week, including Tata Motors, Canara Bank, and Cipla.
Besides, the US-China trade related issues, crude oil prices, rupee movement, and foreign funds trend would influence trading sentiment, analysts added.
During the last week, the BSE Sensex gained 467.78 points or 1.24 per cent.
On Friday, the 30-share benchmark closed 537.29 points, or 1.44 per cent, higher at 37,930.77. Similarly, the broader Nifty rose 150.05 points, or 1.33 per cent, to settle at 11,407.15.
If Twitter reactions are any indication, laddoo orders may already be pouring to halvais and sweet shops by BJP offices across the country. Often, like weekly fortune forecasts, exit polls too, assume a life of their own.