Gujarat Assembly election 2017
In picture: EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) used in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls being stored in a strong room in Surat, Gujarat on Dec 10, 2017.IANS

With polling drawing to a close in Gujarat Assembly election 2017, all eyes are on the exit polls. Even as counting is slated for Monday, December 18, the exit polls will give strong clues to how ruling BJP and the Congress have fared in the crucial election. 

There are several indicators that psephologists and experts consider when looking at election results. One such indicator, which many think predicts public sentiment, is voter turnout. The common belief is that the higher the voter turnout, the more the chances that the ruling party will be shown the door. However, this has never been a sure thing.

If it were, the BJP would have quite a bit to worry about. For starters, polling in Phase 1 of the Gujarat elections this time has seen around 68 percent voter turnout, which some would claim is the people's answer to the 22 years of rule of the saffron party. Phase 2 has apparently seen 62 percent voter turnout till 4 pm.

These may not be great polling numbers, but they are not poor numbers either. They are average at worst, and leaning towards a good turnout for the more optimistic. Either way, the best one can interpret from them is that if the BJP could be repeating its 2012 result, winning or losing a handful of seats here and there.

Here are the exit polls for the Gujarat Assembly elections:

Polls conducted by: BJP in 2017 Congress in 2017
Times Now-VMR  109   70
C-Voter / Republic  109 70
Sahara Samay-CNX 110-120  65-75
India Today–Axis  99-113  68-84
NDTV 109 70
Today's Chanakya 135 47

It may be noted that the BJP had won 116 seats in 2012 while the Congress had won 60.

Here are the LIVE updates:

9:30 pm IST: And we have the analysis in place! Find out exactly why the BJP is sweeping to power in Gujarat right HERE.

7:40 pm IST: The numbers are in, and now the analysis is under way. While the exit polls are only estimates, their overwhelming and unanimous favouring of the BJP must be for some concrete reasons. Stick around for some analyses.

7:10 pm IST: And finally the Today's Chanakya exit poll is out, and it is even more in favour of the BJP! Take a look for yourself!

6:45 pm IST: With the exit polls overwhelmingly in favour of the BJP, the trolls are taking to social media to speak their mind, and doing it in style!

6:30 pm IST: We are currently looking forward to one of the most-awaited exit polls around, that by Today's Chanakya.

6:10 am IST: As is evident from the table above, exit polls are painting Gujarat saffron. Apparently, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi'scomprehensive campaigning in the state had no effect.

5:50 pm IST: Even the others are going on similar paths. In most places, the BJP seems to be in the lead, according to the exit polls.

5:30 pm IST: The numbers are OUT!!

Times Now predicts a clear win for the BJP.

Surprisingly, even NDTV has a similar prediction! The BJP will win 109 seats, the Congress 70 and the remaining three will go to others.

5:20 pm IST: The voter turnout in Phase 2 of Gujarat elections is said to be 57 percent. Whose chunk of voters did not exercise their franchise?

5:10 pm IST: The numbers for the Gujarat exit polls may take some time to emerge, because the last of the exit polls need to be tallied for a clearer picture to emerge.

Quicker off the block will be developments from the Himachal exit polls, because the Assembly election there took place on November 9.

5:01 pm IST: Voting has stopped in the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly election, paving the way for exit polls.