High polling means more votes for BJP? Polling trends since 2014 may show the way

High polling means more votes for BJP? Polling trends since 2014 may show the way

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau09/12/2018 21:51

The electorate of three of the five states has already locked their choices in the electronic voting machines (EVMs). The voting percentage in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram is in excess of 75 per cent. Rajasthan and Telangana will vote for their next governments today.

Which means all eyes are on December 11, when the results are to be declared, which might give a hint whether the Modi juggernaut will roll on in the next general elections or whether Rahul Gandhi an emerge as a challenger.

The BJP and the Congress are in a direct fight in Hindi-belt states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. A multi-cornered fight is expected in Mizoram and Telangana, where the challenger BJP is trying to make an electoral statement.

Who will form governments in these states? The voting pattern and results in the elections held since the Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister in 2014 give some indications.

 

Increased Voting Works For BJP

A total of 21 states, excluding the current five where the elections are on, went to polls since the Narendra Modi government was sworn in.

Of these, the BJP was not a power to reckon with in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, which elected their governments in 2016.

Of the remaining 17 states, 10 recorded increased voting percentage. The BJP benefitted in the assembly elections in seven of these states.

Between October and December in 2014, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir went to polls.

In Maharashtra, the voting percentage improved from 60 per cent in the 2009 Assembly election to 64 per cent in 2014 state polls. The BJP emerged as the single-largest party falling 22 short of a majority. It, however, managed to form government replacing the Congress with the support of other parties.

Haryana saw a voting percentage of 76.9 per cent in the 2014 assembly polls, a record for the state from 72.29 per cent in the 2009 election. The BJP won a majority on its own and ousted the Congress from power in Haryana.

The election result in Jharkhand was somewhat startling as the state, for the first time voted for a single-party government. The voting percentage in Jharkhand improved by nearly 6.5 percentage points to 66.03 per cent in 2014 from 59.40 in the 2009 assembly election. The BJP defeated the Congress and its allies the RJD, JD(U) and the JMM.

Jammu and Kashmir also went to polls in 2014. The election saw an increase in voting percentage from 60.4 per cent in 2008 to 65.23 per cent in 2014. It ended in a hung assembly but the BJP gained in the Jammu region winning 25 seats in the state assembly. A post-poll alliance with the PDP saw the BJP sharing power in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time.

2015, a shocker for the BJP

The assembly elections of 2015 showed a different trend with the increasing voting percentage. Delhi and Bihar went to polls that year. Both states recorded improved voting percentage.

In Delhi, the voting percentage improved from 65.86 per cent in 2013 to 67.08 per cent in February 2015. The BJP suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Bihar recorded the highest voting percentage since 2000. An improvement of more than six percentage points over 2010 state polls from 52.67 per cent to 56.8 per cent. The grand alliance of the RJD, the JD(U) and the Congress managed to prevent the BJP from coming to power.

Northeast bloom for BJP

Assam assembly election opened the doors for the BJP in the Northeast in 2016.

Assam went to polls in April 2016 and saw an increase in voting percentage by nearly 10 percentage points from 75 per cent in 2011 to 84.72 per cent in 2016. Tarun Gogoi of the Congress was the chief minister of Assam for three consecutive terms. But the BJP won 86 seats in the 126-member Assembly.

Manipur went to polls in March 2017. The voting percentage improved from 79.19 per cent in 2012 to 84 per cent in 2017 and the Congress lost power to the BJP even though the former emerged as the single-largest in the Assembly election.

The UP push

The Uttar Pradesh assembly election, held in February 2017 was a major push for the BJP. The party won an unprecedented 325 of the 403 Assembly seats. The incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Congress had entered into an alliance with much fanfare but the BJP stormed to power in Uttar Pradesh.

Goa also saw increased voting percentage in 2017 assembly election. It was one of the exceptions like Delhi and Bihar to the rule of increased voting percentage favouring the BJP but with a twist.

The Congress emerged as the single-largest party but the BJP managed to secure support from smaller parties in the hung assembly.

The pre-General Election year

Assembly election was held in Karnataka in May 2018. The voting percentage here increased from 71.45 per cent in 2013 to 72.13 per cent. The BJP won 104 seats, while its ally won one.

The increased voting percentage did favour the BJP but the Congress turned the tables by entering into an alliance with the JD(S) to form the government.

What if voting percentage reduces?

A fall in voting percentage leads to a more guessing game than a jump in it.

Having gone to the polls at the same time as Uttar Pradesh in 2017, Punjab saw a fall in voting percentage and of the SAD-BJP government.

Voting percentage in Punjab fell to 76.83 per cent from 78.20 per cent in 2012 and the Congress returned to power in the state after a gap of 10 years.

But, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat offered a different picture.

Voting percentage in Uttarakhand reduced 65.64 per cent in February 2017 from 67.22 per cent in 2012 but the BJP snatched power from the Congress in the state.

In Himachal Pradesh, the drop in voting percentage was minor, from 75 per cent in 2012 to 74 in 2017. The BJP displaced the Congress as the ruling party in Himachal Pradesh.

In Gujarat, where stakes were particularly high for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, voting percentage slipped from 71.32 per cent in 2012 to 68.41 per cent in 2017. The BJP suffered a loss of seat 115 to 99 - but ultimately managed to cling on to power.

Who will win in ongoing elections?

Now is the turn of the five states, which is considered to be the semi-final of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Chhattisgarh saw a decline in voting percentage from 77.40 in 2013 to 76.35 per cent in two-phased polls last month. This should give the Congress hope. But the incumbent BJP still expects to hold on to the state the way it did in Gujarat.

Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is in power, recorded 75 per cent voting percentage compared to 72.69 per cent in 2013 assembly election. The BJP hopes Madhya Pradesh will follow the general trend of elections since 2014.

In Mizoram, the voting percentage reduced to 80 per cent from 83.40 per cent in 2013. The BJP hopes that its major ally the Mizo National Front (MNF) of Zoramthanga would gain from the regional trend. The Congress expects Lal Thanhawla to win his third consecutive term in the chief minister’s office.

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