Live Updates

India election results: Modi declares victory

10:07 p.m. ET, May 22, 2019

The world's biggest and longest election is coming to an end

Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wave a party flag and wear masks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata on May 16, 2019.
Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wave a party flag and wear masks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata on May 16, 2019. STR/AFP/Getty Images

After five and a half weeks of polling over seven phases, countless campaign rallies spanning the length and breadth of the country, and an electorate the size of 900 million casting ballots at 1 million polling stations, India's marathon election will soon be over.

When will results be announced?

Counting starts at about 8 a.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET), when the Election Commission (EC) will start posting results on its website. It's unclear what time the full results will be known, but in 2014 the general trend became clear by about 3 p.m., though it could be much later.

The EC won’t certify numbers until every seat has been counted, a process that could take a day or longer, especially if there is a hung parliament.

Once a clear winner is determined, India's President Ram Nath Kovind will invite the winner to form a government.

The swearing in ceremony would take place over the next week or so.

What to watch for?

It's a first past the post system and so in order to win, a party or a coalition needs to secure 272 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, to form a government.

Just catching up?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hoping to repeat his landslide win of 2014 with his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Then the BJP won 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, the largest majority commanded by a single party in 30 years. With its allies the NDA, the party sailed comfortably past the 300 mark -- a reflection of the popularity of its leader.

While Modi still enjoys a lot of support from around the country, the elections are essentially a referendum on his policies over the past five years. A lack of jobs, an agrarian crisis, a rise in right-wing Hindu nationalism, and some of his major economic policies have turned many people off the populist leader.

Though considered by many to be a weak opposition, Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi is Modi's main rival, and regional parties could also post strong showings.