Change is coming to India, or so polls say

For the one or two of you journalists among our readers, that headline is my nod to the New York Times’ tone.

And it is from the NYT that I get the early news that India’s weeks-long election apparently will result in a sweeping win for the Hindu nationalist party’s candidate, Narendra Modi:

Exit polls released Monday suggested that voters in India’s parliamentary election will deliver a mandate for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who has promised to create manufacturing jobs and overhaul the country’s infrastructure.

The country’s stock market surged to a record high on the last day of voting on the news that the B.J.P. coalition could receive more than 272 of the lower house’s 545 seats, enough to allow Mr. Modi to form a government without forginga coalition with fractious regional power brokers.

However, India’s exit polls are not always reliable, having incorrectly predicted a B.J.P. victory in 2004, when the Indian National Congress won by a comfortable margin, and underestimated the Congress’s winning margin in 2009. The official vote count will take place on Friday.

Turnout exceeded 66 percent, according to the election commission, before Monday’s voters were included in the polls, setting a new benchmark in India. The previous record, of around 64 percent, was set in 1984, during a wave of emotion after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Stay tuned for the final word on Friday.

Posted by Steve