Predictions and Polls for the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections in India

This post is part of the Global Voices special coverage on the Indian Elections 2009

The month long general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in India start from April 16, and there is wide speculation on which party, or coalition, will emerge the winner, when the results are announced on May 16th.

Here is a quick roundup of the pre-election predictions and the discussion around them in the Indian blogosphere.

According to the second Star-Nielsen poll, the Congress will win 155 seats (203 with UPA allies), while the BJP will win 147 seats (191 with NDA allies) (via TOI).

Arun Nehru at the Deccan Chronicle predicts that the Congress will win 157 seats (193 with UPA allies), compared to the 132 seats for the BJP (177 with NDA allies).

The Times of India predicts that the Congress will win 154 seats (198 with UPA allies), while the BJP will win 135 seats (176 with NDA allies).

According to The Week, the Congress will win 144 seats (198 with UPA allies), while the BJP will have to settle at 140 seats (186 with NDA allies).

India Today expects the UPA to win 196-205 seats, far ahead of the 172-181 seats for the NDA.

According to Reuters, the Congress with 139 seats will form the government, beating the BJP, which will win only 129 seats.

DNA predicts that the Congress-led UPA will win 184 seats, against the 177 seats for the BJP-led NDA.

Shreekant Sambrani at Business Standard predicts that BJP will emerge as the biggest party with 137 seats (184 seats with NDA allies), ahead of the Congress, which will win 119 seats (176 seats with UPA allies, including LJP/ RJD).

India TV also predicts that the BJP will emerge as the largest single party with 144 seats (187 seats with NDA allies), ahead of the Congress, which will win 133 seats (178 seats with UPA allies).

According to BJP's own survey, conducted by G V L Narasimha Rao, the BJP will win 160 seats (217 with NDA allies) compared to 135 seats for the Congress (180 with UPA allies) (via TOI).

The numbers for the UPA have come down in recent predictions as analysts aren't counting the numbers for Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP or Mulayam Singh’s SP as part of the alliance anymore.

Earlier, in March, the Star-Nielsen poll had predicted that Congress will win 144 seats (257 with UPA allies, including 47 for SP/ RJP/ LJP), compared to the 137 seats for the BJP (184 with NDA allies) (via Reuters).

The CNN-IBN poll had predicted that the Congress-led UPA will win 215-235 seats (including SP/ RJP/ LJP), compared to 165-185 seats for the BJP-led NDA (via Reuters).

In 2004, the UPA had won 234 seats (with 145 seats for the Congress) and the NDA had won 184 seats (with 138 seats for the BJP).

The Outlook Blog written by Sandeep Dougal, by the way, has emerged as my single most useful source of news and opinion on the Indian Lok Sabha elections. This is a great example of the value a traditional news organization can add by linking out to others.

Several Indian bloggers are also posting their own predictions.

Vijay at OffStumped, an overtly pro-BJP blog, predicts that NDA will win 184 seats compared to 108 for UPA.

Blogger Arvind Katoch predicts that UPA will win 230-240 seats where NDA can win 180-200 seats.

Promise of Reason is also doing a series of state-wise pre-poll predictions for the Indian elections.

Rajesh Jain, who is also a part of the Friends of BJP group, has also been sharing his assessment of how the elections might turn out and believes that we will see another election in two years.

It seems that the consensus opinion is that the Congress will emerge as the largest party with 150-160 seats, while the BJP will win 130-140 seats. In any case, fewer parties will ally with the BJP, and it will need 175+ seats to have a stab at building a majority coalition, so we can safely assume that the Congress will be a part of the coalition government. Most observers are predicting that a Congress-led UPA-Left coalition will form the government.

Cross-posted on Gauravonomics, my blog on social media and social change.


  • […] A shorter version of this piece is cross-posted at Vote Report India and Global Voices. […]


    I just hope that a congress led govt. comes at the centre. I sincerely hope that congress will muster around 13-15 seats out of the 20 in the state of kerala.

  • GN Singh

    Yes ! Congress should win if this nation has to be saved from so called statesman who are mere orators.

  • Kumar

    I hope Congress will lose to save this Nation from the anti-nationals and terrerists. I also hope (?) the regional parties will lose hold on the central government.

  • vibhaas

    This election should result in something of a mess. Whomsover forms the govt will be at a big disadvantage. Ideally the best thing for India from security standoint is NDA as congress is going to be hampered on acting on this because of its political base.

  • God willing, Congress will be Routed, due its own Performance and False Promises. National Party
    – BJP plus Allies will Take Control!

  • I wish BJP shd. come to power.Common man hopes, he would be more benefited by bringing the bare necesities under control if BJP comes to power.All these days, UPA`s
    ruling we have seen. It is nothing but HELL
    L K Advani, is more capable, active, sensible
    projected Prime Minister.He does, what he says.

  • satya

    The congress should be denied to form the government at the center as it cannot do much for the security of the country to appease its vote bank. I feel that we should venture out of our houses and vote on the day as this is the only time when we have the “say”. Or else we wont be having any moral right to complain for anything that happens.

  • Del

    Congress should win in center. The way congress is leading India it’s excellent.

  • hariprasad

    more than 50 % are underweight,
    worlds highest poverty ridden country,
    most corrupt country,
    lost haif of j&k to china,
    thousands of acre land to china,
    hopeless judiciary lakhs of cases pending for years & years,
    sick foreign policy,
    dirty caste quota,
    dirty religion quota,
    bring back this congress party and go to hell,
    binasha kale biparitta buddhi.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.