2014: BJP well ahead of Congress but won't get majority

The Bharatiya Janata Party will be the single largest seat-winner in the 2014 general elections with 162 seats, well ahead of the Congress tally of 102, according to the results of a pre-election survey released today.

But even with its National Democratic Alliance partners, the BJP would be well short of an absolute majority, which implies – as widely anticipated – that smaller regional parties will play a key role in the next government, says the Times Now-CVoter survey.

The NDA as a whole is projected to get 186 seats, and the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance will get 117, leaving 240 Lok Sabha seats for other parties.

Of course, some of the biggest regional parties too deeply opposed to each other to jointly participate in government.

West Bengal's Trinamool Congress is viscerally opposed to the Left parties, from whom it seized power in the state. And Uttar Paradesh's Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are also antagonists in the state.

Thus the survey concludes that the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha will be almost impossible to attain for any pre-election formation.

Among the "other" parties, the Left Front is projected to get the largest number, 32 seats, followed by Mayawati's BSP with 31 and Jayalalithaa's Tamil Nadu-based AIADMK with 28 seats. The SP and Trinamool Congress are expected to get 25 and 23 seats respectively.

The split with BJP seems to have hurt the Janata Dal (United), which is predicted to see its tally crash from 20 in 2009 to just nine.

The Congress is likely to suffer crippling blows in most of the major states that helped propel the UPA to power in 2009, and the projected gain in Karnataka will be too little to compensate for the damage elsewhere, the survey predicts.

On the other hand, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems well placed to make significant gains in Rajasthan and relatively smaller gains in several other states, this is unlikely to be enough to put it in prime position for power.

According to the survey, the seats bagged by the top ten "other" parties would add up to 200.

The poll showed Congress suffering the worst setback in Andhra Pradesh, going from 33 seats to just seven, while Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) are predicted to get 13 seats each.

The other states where Congress is expected to suffer severe losses are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala.

In Rajasthan, the survey showed the Congress set to win just five seats, a loss of 15 seats, all of them picked up by the BJP.

Similarly in UP too, the poll showed the Congress losing 16 seats, mostly to the SP and the BSP, from its 2009 tally of 21 seats. The BJP is shown to pick up just seven more seats taking its total to 17 seats in UP.

Karnataka is the only state where the Congress was shown to make a major gain of 11 seats, all wrested from the BJP.

The survey also indicated that Delhi would go to the BJP, which would bag six of the seven Parliamentary seats. In Maharashtra, the findings showed the Congress losing six from its 2009 tally of 17 seats and Sharad Pawar's NCP losing two, while BJP and the Shiv Sena are expected to pick up four and three seats each over their 2009 tally, bringing their tally to 13 and 14 seats respectively of the state's 48 seats.

According to the poll, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool will gain four seats in 2014 taking its tally to 23 and the Left will just pick up one more totalling 16 seats. Yet again, the Congress would be the loser, shedding three of its six seats in West Bengal.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK is expected to be cut down to just five seats from 18 in 2009, while AIADMK jumps from nine to 28 seats. The poll showed the Congress tally dropping from eight seats to just one in Tamil Nadu.

In terms of vote shares, the survey projects the NDA to get 35 per cent, the UPA 27 per cent, and others 38 per cent.

This means that the ruling coalition will lose nine percentage points from its 2009 vote share and the NDA will gain exactly the same amount.