As Karnataka votes, pollster 5Forty3 predicts the results based on his Micro Analytics Projections

5Forty3 Datalabs has developed a specialized tool known as MAPi – Micro Analytics Projections (INTELLIGENCE) – which measures socio-political and socio-economic changes of India’s mass markets through various data metrics. The CEO and founder of 5Forty3 Datalabs, Dr Praveen Patil has predicted how the Karnataka assembly elections may pan out.

As a part of this exercise, they have created a new platform, ChunavpediA which aims at a bottom-up disruption of Indian elections by simply projecting each assembly seat by engaging in predictive algorithms of each constituency. The analysis has been divided into three parts – North Karnataka, Madhya Karnataka and South Karnataka.

5Forty3 Data labs made the following predictions on 5th May 2018, right before the last leg of campaigning.

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North Karnataka: 

Since last three months, the Congress party was involved in a rippleless barnstorm. The Congress managed to convert the state election into a fight between Siddaramaiah as the local bigwig versus a mainly “north-Indian party like BJP”. In fact, BJP campaign was completely inorganic without any exhilaration among RSS-BJP workers. Until late March, it almost seemed as if Congress may pull off a clean sweep in Karnataka. Then, in April, the Congress party committed three major blunders which turned the table in favour of BJP.

  • Firstly, Rahul Gandhi simply lacked the moral authority or the political courage to convince Siddaramaiah not to give up on his safe seat, Varuna. The message this move conveyed to the ordinary party workers was quite negative.
  • The messy ticket distribution has gone against the party. Congress simply did not replace any of its leaders despite many of them being extremely unpopular in their constituencies. This has not only left more than 30 rebels in the fray but also has led to many key leaders abandoning their posts in the electoral battle.
  • Congress party unnecessarily opened another flank against JDS leaving its main battlefield with BJP in deeply vulnerable position. As a result, in more than three dozen seats, BJP and JDS seem to have made defeating Congress a common cause.

If on one hand, the Congress party has made three big bloopers, there are four factors that are working in favour of the BJP.

  • The deep adherence for PM Modi because of which a large chunk of voters are voting purely for Modi, irrespective of who the candidate is.
  • The shift of four extremely backward communities towards BJP over the last few weeks has given a lethal sting to LIBRA – Lingayat + Brahmin – a coalition of voters. Very much under the radar, Valmikis, Idigas, Madigas and other non-right SC votes could be the defining feature of Karnataka elections in 2018 thereby reinforcing the USHV (United Spectrum of Hindu Votes) in Karnataka.
  • The massively skewed vote-share of BJP wherein its votes are concentrated in northern and central parts while it is virtually non-existent in Old-Mysore and surrounding regions gives the party a much better seat conversion ratio.
  • In North Karnataka, the trends are in aids of BJP in a big way. Such trending data usually produce landslide results.

There are a total of 224 seats in Karnataka, the ChunavpediA had tracked down 81 seats present in North Karnataka, and as the trend suggests BJP was ahead in 45 while Congress was ahead in 24. The JDS and others were leading in 1 seat each while there were 10 undecided seats. Even if the swing seats break out at 50% in favour of the top-seeded party, the BJP in the following days had the potential to win about 62% of the seats.

Madhya Karnataka:

According to 5Forty3 history seems to be repeating itself for the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Way back in 1977-78, Shehzaada’s grandmother Indira Gandhi found herself politically incapacitated and had to fall back on a ‘Backward Caste’ CM, today her grandson finds himself powerless in front of CM Siddaramiah and is depending on this ‘Backward Caste’ CM to keep the Congress party away from drowning.

5Forty3’s Micro Analytical Projections (INTELLIGENCE) – predicted that prior to last mile campaigning, BJP was not exactly sweeping the coastal-Malnad belt (home to Chikmagalur) which consists of 31 seats spread across the 5 districts of Shimoga, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada, and Dakshina Kannada. Before the last mile of campaigning, BJP was leading in about 14 of those seats while Congress also was in pole position in 11 seats. This is also the belt with maximum Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Valmiki population which is giving the saffron party a big boost. In the 9 seats of Bellary district, BJP was ahead in 6 and Congress was leading in just two.

According to them, there was only one man who can bring about imperative changes in the scenario in this region, Narendra Modi himself. It is believed that what Modi does is basically turn the agenda and the opposition then starts chasing the narrative instead of setting one. Modi rallies have the power to turn electoral equations to his favour and the last 5 years electoral history says that whenever Modi becomes the central theme, opposition suffers.

South Karnataka:

According to 5Forty3, as BJP moved towards the south of Karnataka, it was witnessing resistance and the Modi wave blowing in the north of Karnataka was getting squandered.

In so many years the saffron party has made its dominance felt all across India, but it lacks elementary command in the Old Mysore region. The party was virtually non-existent in the Mandya-Hassan belt and had very few scattered pockets of influence in the Mysore-Chamrajanagar belt. Even in 2008, BJP had a much better presence in this region but things have only deteriorated since then.

It seems BJP too was aware of its limitations. This was the reason why the party was concentrating on the North and Central regions along with Bangalore which was also reflected in the choice of venues for the Modi carpet bombing. The party was in full flow, leaving the Congress clueless as to how to counter the saffron outpour.

According to Dr Patil, the Prime Minister has already made a big difference to BJP’s fortunes in the state, but he had the potential capacity to provide more disruption. The trend was already in BJP’s favour even before the last leg of campaigning, and if Modi just gave that one last push (which he eventually did), BJP may well hit the landslide territory. In order to measure BJP’s chances of going beyond a simple victory, 3 districts need to be crucially monitored:

  1. Bangalore urban district’s seats, especially swing seats like K.R. Pura, Shivajinagar Rajrajeshwarinagar, Govindrajnagar etc. that have smaller Congress leads and are vulnerable to a BJP onslaught.
  2. Uttara Kannada district in the coastal belt where BJP was struggling because Congress has some very strong candidates
  3. Belgaum district where Congress has deep pockets of influence in more than half a dozen seats.

Today, 5forty3 Datalabs came up with another analysis based on the last leg of campaigning which saw several BJP bigwigs including the PM Modi descend in Karnataka for the last mile push and concluded that Karnataka might turn saffron.

Karnataka goes in for elections today. A day before, all the three bigwigs, Amit Shah, Chief Ministerial candidate, B.S. Yeddyurappa and the extremely popular B. Sriramulu all camped in the distant Badami on Thursday, which has always been the safe zone for the Congress. After all the blitzkrieg, the electoral trend has seen remarkable changes in the last one week in Badami. Siddaramaiah no longer has the same confidence of the people.

Micro Analytical Projections (INTELLIGENCE) – Election Tracker has also begun to pick this trend as Siddaramaiah’s lead first reduced from 8 percentage points to 3 percentage points and now stands at a mere 1 percentage point.

Badami is just the trailer, Karnataka, on the whole, will turn saffron today even as a mini-wave is building up, according to Dr Patil. Powerful BJP strategists who were worried that the party had stagnated at around 75-80 seat range until a fortnight ago are now extremely confident about BJP coming to power. Even MAPi Election Tracker is now beginning to show that BJP has already touched the 100-seat mark, while Congress is stuck at around 60 seats. All BJP has to now do is convert about a dozen close contests and the party would be through to a clear majority.

As per the trends, BJP is ahead in 97 assembly segments whereas Congress has leads in 63 seats. JDS has also shown remarkable resilience by taking pole position in 32 seats. There are 32 swing seats as of now, of which 5 are swinging towards smaller parties and independents. Essentially, these remaining 26 swing seats will decide whether BJP gets a full majority on its own or whether it would still need the support of JDS. If the current trend towards BJP continues, it is quite likely that Congress may even have to fight hard to retain the position of the main opposition party.

If the final results are according to the projections, and if the Nation’s so-called ‘shehzaada’ fails to deliver, it will truly be a big blow to every congressman and definitely a feather on PM Modi’s cap who has a reputation of playing the last slogging over with extreme dynamism and sweeping the match away.

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