This was revealed by an IANS analysis of ABP-CVoter Exit Poll with a sample size of 30,000 spread across 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat.
According to the findings, the incumbent BJP, which has already ruled Gujarat continuously for 27 years barring a brief revolt by Shankar Singh Vaghela, is projected win between 128 and 140 seats in the 182-member Assembly. Despite 27 years of anti-incumbency, the vote share of the BJP is expected to improve slightly from 49.1 per cent in 2017 to 49.4 per cent in these elections.
In 2017, the BJP had won 99 seats, the lowest tally for the party since it first came to power in Gujarat in 1995. The increased vote share looks like a clear indicator of voter endorsement of the party despite the state facing a number of vexing problems ranging from unemployment to exam paper leaks to a sudden stagnation in growing agricultural prosperity.
In 2017, the Congress had put up a spirited fight, giving scare to the ruling BJP. In these elections, the exit poll findings have shown that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is emerging a formidable third force in the state with a vote share of 15.4 per cent. Most of it will be at the cost of the Congress as its vote share is projected to slump from 41.4 per cent in 2017 to 32.5 per cent this time.
The AAP is projected to win between 3 and 11 seats, while the Congress looks likely to win between 31 and 43 seats, significantly lower than the 77 it had won in 2017.
If the exit poll numbers hold true, AAP looks all set to emerge as a national political force after its recent electoral success in Punjab. (IANS)