As usual I want to repeat that these are not my conclusions but those of pollsters who have conducted surveys on the ground. I will desist from going into figures (because they can go so horribly wrong in four and five cornered contests) and stick to broad trends. The idea is not to contribute to the satta market but to try and make sense of electoral behaviour.
Phase 2 has been very good for the BJP and its allies, good for BSP, not so good for the Congress and somewhat disastrous for the so-called Fourth Front.
These are the reported trends from the states:
- Big setback for the Congress in Assam. Gains for the BJP-AGP alliance.
- In coastal Andhra and Rayalseema, the Congress performed significantly better than it did in Telengana (where it faces a rout). However, there is likely to be a sharp dip in the Congress Lok Sabha tally. It is unlikely to be near the half-way mark of the 42 seats. Chiranjeevi has done quite well.
- The BJP appears to have swept Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Its MP tally may be better than 2004.
- In Karnataka, BJP appears to have done as well as in 2004. But there are non-quantitative reports of the BJP not doing so well in Bangalore.
- Although BSP appears well ahead in Phase 2 constituencies that polled in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has done very well in the seats adjoining Amethi and Rae Barely. The BJP has the upper hand in only a couple of places. The SP is likely to see a fall from its 2004 tally.
- Bad news for the Lalu-Paswan alliance in Bihar. The BJP-JD(U) alliance seems to be coasting to a big victory.
- Congress has done well in Orissa. The BJD will suffer in the Lok Sabha. By implication, there is a question mark over its ability to secure a clear majority in the Assembly.
- Small losses for the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.
The big question after Phase 2: can Congress retain its status as the largest party in the Lok Sabha? I would prefer to not speculate and leave it to the final results. But the bush telegraph has started buzzing in Delhi.