NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the crucial highly effective and divisive leaders India has produced in many years, appeared headed for re-election, in keeping with exit polls launched Sunday on the finish of mammoth parliamentary elections.
Mr. Modi appears to have emerged from the most important democratic vote in human historical past comparatively unscathed by rising complaints throughout India about joblessness and misery on farms.
Based on the entire main exit polls, Mr. Modi’s model of brawny Hindu nationalist politics, coupled together with his efforts to venture a powerful picture of India overseas, performed nicely among the many 900 million registered voters. If the voter surveys show correct, Mr. Modi is positioned to manipulate with a powerful hand for 5 extra years.
To the top of the bitter race, he campaigned as a passionate Hindu. Mr. Modi spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the final day of the election, praying at a Hindu shrine and meditating in a distant Himalayan cave.
At the least seven exit polls launched by Indian media organizations on Sunday evening predicted that Mr. Modi’s occasion, the Bharatiya Janata Occasion, or B.J.P., and its allies would win a minimum of 280 of the 545 seats within the decrease home of Parliament, empowering them to decide on the subsequent prime minister.
If the precise outcomes again the polls up, it will likely be a way more dominating efficiency than many analysts had thought was attainable. Official outcomes are anticipated on Thursday.
“The exit polls are stunning,” stated Sudha Pai, a former political science professor at Jawaharlal Nehru College in New Delhi, the capital. Mr. Modi’s social media efforts and the truth that the opposition was divided delivered bigger-than-expected good points, she stated.
Comparable exit polls in different latest Indian elections have precisely predicted the broader tendencies.
The exit polls this time forecast that the Indian Nationwide Congress, the main opposition occasion, would do marginally higher than its gorgeous defeat within the final elections in 2014. However it nonetheless appeared destined to stay a distant second.
All through the race, Rahul Gandhi, Congress’s chief and the scion of an Indian political dynasty, had appealed for communal concord and minority rights, however he appeared no match for Mr. Modi’s assertive and well-financed marketing campaign machine, which enjoys the assist of many grass-roots teams inside India’s Hindu majority.
“One factor we all know for certain is that Modi stays extremely well-liked regardless of the whole lot that’s occurred within the final 5 years,” stated Milan Vaishnav, a South Asia skilled on the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace. “Nothing actually sticks to him.”
The elections have been a six-week affair. They have been carried out in phases, with totally different components of the nation voting at totally different occasions. The primary votes have been forged in mid-April and the final ones have been on Sunday.
Indian officers moved from constituency to constituency throughout this huge panorama, from excessive snowy mountains to lush tropical isles within the Andaman Sea.
Wherever he campaigned, Mr. Modi made nationwide safety a serious challenge. Earlier this 12 months, grumbles about his missteps on the economic system had been rising, and farmers had protested in opposition to his authorities, saying its insurance policies have been making them poorer.
However in February, Mr. Modi bought an enormous enhance. After militants struck Indian forces within the disputed territory of Kashmir, which each India and Pakistan declare, Mr. Modi ordered airstrikes on Pakistan.
Regardless of that impartial safety analysts stated the airstrikes missed their targets. Or that Pakistan downed an Indian fighter jet the subsequent day.
Indian flags popped up throughout the nation in a single day, raised by a burst of jingoism, and Mr. Modi’s approval rankings swiftly elevated.
As information of the exit polls unfold, the individuals most distressed have been India’s minorities. Underneath Mr. Modi’s authorities, mob violence in opposition to Muslims, who make up about 14 p.c, and decrease caste Hindus has elevated, and the bloodshed typically goes unpunished.
Mr. Modi’s model of politics, rooted in Hindu supremacist teams that consider Hindus are the rightful rulers of India, has polarized this heterogeneous nation, elevating concern and tensions.
If the exit ballot information is any indication, it appears the opposition events’ complaints that India has change into extra divided beneath Mr. Modi didn’t change many citizens’ minds. Based on the information, Mr. Modi’s occasion received in many of the areas it received within the final election.
The large losses that some political analysts had predicted in northern India don’t appear to have materialized.
Like all exit polls, these in India are imperfect, however their accuracy has improved lately.
The most important exit polls in 2014 appropriately predicted a win for the B.J.P.-led coalition. In 2009, exit polls precisely forecast that Congress would achieve essentially the most seats, although the information underestimated the quantity in the end received by the Congress alliance.
The present exit polls have been carried out by Indian analysis and survey organizations, many with many years of expertise, which partnered with information media retailers. Based on the polling organizations, the pattern dimension for every exit ballot diverse from 40,000 voters to 2 million.
Some analysts have cautioned that exit polls might overstate Mr. Modi’s assist as a result of some individuals can be scared to say they voted in opposition to him. However general, political scientists stated they appeared dependable.
“Within the majority of the instances, exit polls have depicted the true image,” stated Josukutty Cheriantharayil Abraham, director of the survey analysis middle on the College of Kerala. “It might not be right by way of the variety of seats or vote share, however it may positively present the tendencies.”
Mr. Gandhi didn’t touch upon the exit polls. After the voting ended, he complained in a Twitter message that India’s election fee’s “capitulation earlier than Mr. Modi and his gang is clear to all Indians.’’
In distinction, the B.J.P. posted a cartoon on Twitter of Mr. Modi crushing a scattered opposition with an enormous garden mower as spectators give him the thumbs-up.
“With this,” the illustration learn, “the opportunistic hodgepodge is over.”