Friday, December 4, 2020
Home Opinions The voter turnout in the first phases of 2019 elections shows which way the...

The voter turnout in the first phases of 2019 elections shows which way the political wind may be blowing

A likely outcome of this is that the voting preference would also remain the same as they were before- and hence, it is very likely that the final election outcome is really close to the 2014 levels.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding voter turnouts in the current 2019 elections. During the initial phases, it was argued that the voter turn-out, in general, was lower than the 2014 levels. However, most of this analysis was based on comparisons of Phase-1 in 2014 with the Phase-1 in 2019.

Many economists have since then expressed the need to have a comparison of the voter turnout in constituencies in 2019 with the corresponding turn-out in 2014. Luckily, for the first two phases, the election commission came out with its own comparison which is comprehensive. The comparison showed that the voter turnout was only marginally lower than what it was in 2014. In fact, in many areas, the voter turnout has been higher than the 2014 levels. It is worth highlighting that 2014 witnessed record high levels of voter turnout and the current four phases suggest that the turnout is in fact marginally higher (a simple average suggests it to be at 0.04% higher than 2014).

While it is difficult to draw conclusions solely on the basis of voter-turnout for approximately 370 seats, it is possible to assert with certainty that 2019 is a high-turnout election compared to previous elections and it is very much likely that the turnout could exceed the previous high of 2014. This makes the 2019 elections interesting in many ways as a major reason behind the high voter turnout in 2014 was the Modi wave combined with the 10-year anti-incumbency and the negative sentiment against the UPA due to series of corruption scandals. Conventional wisdom suggests that angry voters tend to pull up the voter percentage, so a high turnout usually suggests anger against the incumbent. However, in 2019 there is n such anger that is visible against the incumbent- in fact, we witness the popularity of the Prime Minister at an all-time high. Therefore, one conventional wisdom, in this occasion is likely to lead one to an inconsistent conclusion.

When one takes a closer look at the composition of voters of the BJP, they tend to be typically the middle-class voters and the total turnout is extremely sensitive to whether these voters go out and vote. For most other parties, their voters are fixed on religious-caste based identities and they tend to vote based on these factors in successive elections without fail. It could be argued that the difference between a high voter turnout and a low voter turnout election is if the middle class went out to vote or not. It must be stated again, that major proportion of the middle-class votes ends up going to the BJP. So, a high voter turnout does suggest that the BJP may be doing good in 2019- in fact, it is believed that an NDA government is a foregone conclusion, now we’re just waiting to get the final tally of the political parties.

It can not be stated with certainty just based on polling data that most of the middle-class voters would invariably end up voting for the BJP. The polling data for 2014 and 2019 for 370 seats reveals that there is no pattern in terms of the distribution of the change from 2014 levels. That is, it is not the case that the voter turnout has reduced uniformly across BJP strongholds or that it has fallen uniformly across these areas. In fact, the change in constituency wise voter turnout is rather random as we find a negative change in areas where the Congress won with a narrow margin and even in areas where the BJP won with a narrow margin. This suggests that voter turnout doesn’t state with certainty, nor does it help us predict the outcome of 2019.

But one conclusion can be fairly made with the data on voter turnout and that is to do with the spread of the change. A random spread suggests that there isn’t much difference in voters’ attitude or choice to vote (or not to vote) compared to 2014 levels.

A likely outcome of this is that the voting preference would also remain the same as they were before- and hence, it is very likely that the final election outcome is really close to the 2014 levels. Both, the middle-class hypothesis and the random spread of changes in voter turnout reinforces the fact that 2019 would be a mandate for continuity. Perhaps, that’s the reason why Congress seems to have given up and its supporters (especially the ones on social media) have started to express their frustration openly.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Karan Bhasin
Karan Bhasin is a political economist by training and has diversified research interests in the field of economics. He tweets @karanbhasin95.

Related Articles

Trending now

Khalistanis hijacking farmer protests are aimed at breaking Hindu-Sikh unity: Here is a brief history of tensions in Punjab

The 'Khalistan' bogey has indeed reared its ugly head during the protests against the recently passed farm laws.

After ‘saving Aarey’, Shiv Sena led BMC gives permission to remove over 1000 trees for Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link

Initially the proposal was for removing 1172 Link trees for the Mumbai Trans-Harbour but the number was later reduced to 1,004

WSJ drags Brahmins in domestic policy subject, American Hindu Group demands immediate withdrawal of article: All you need to know

The CoHNA demanded that WSJ remove 'Brahmin' from the OpEd and an apology be issued to the global Hindu Community.

How a teacher from Solapur, Ranjitsinh Disale, won the coveted Global Teacher Prize and $1 million: Here is his story

32-year-old teacher Ranjitsinh Disale won the Global Teacher prize and prize money of $1 million for his extensive work in the field of the girl child education

From surveilling Chinese students in the US to running spy rings in top US universities: All you need to know about CCP infiltration

Lately, it has been revealed how the Communist Party of China has funnelled a massive amount of money into ivy league US universities including Stanford, Harvard in an effort to infiltrate into these research institutes.

World’s first Muslim Hijabi model, Halima Aden, quits modelling, says fashion industry compromised her Islamic faith: Read details

Halima Aden, the first-ever Muslim Hijabi model, has decided to give up her modelling career to embrace her faith, Islam

Recently Popular

From supporting Khalistanis to hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs: A brief intro of the new liberal favourite, Diljit Dosanjh

Singer Diljit Dosanjh has become the new blue-eyed boy of the left-liberal gang after he supported ongoing farmers protest

Exposing hypocrisy of Congress, CPIM, Bharatiya Kisan Union and even Justin Trudeau over the Farm Bills 2020, point by point

The industry scale hypocrisy surrounding the protests around Farm Laws is staggering

Kangana Ranaut vs Diljit Dosanjh fight turns ugly, she calls him Karan Johar’s pet dog

Days after Kangana mistook an elderly lady in Punjab farmers' protest for Bilkis Bano of Shaheen Bagh 'protests', Punjabi singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh got into a war of words with her on Twitter.

Mirzapur: Three Brahmin boys found dead, family says they were murdered with eyes gouged out, police deny

The three cousins: 14-year-old Sudhanshu Tiwari, 14-year-old Shivam Tiwari and Hariom Tiwari were mysteriously found dead in a pond in the Lalganj police station area, Mirzapur.

MDH Masala owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passes away at 97

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, the owner of the spices brand 'MDH' passed away on Thursday morning following a cardiac arrest.

Even pandering doesn’t get India Today a free pass: Here is why ‘liberals’ are today cancelling Rajdeep and Rahul Kanwal

'Liberals' are cancelling India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rahul Kanwal over their coverage of the allegations against Shehla Rashid

Khalistanis hijacking farmer protests are aimed at breaking Hindu-Sikh unity: Here is a brief history of tensions in Punjab

The 'Khalistan' bogey has indeed reared its ugly head during the protests against the recently passed farm laws.

‘You shot a bullet in Delhi, we made MP and Shajapur Shaheen Bagh’: MP HC gives bail to one Anwar, orders counselling as a...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted bail to an accused named Anwar, who had been arrested earlier for posting provocative messages on WhatsApp

After Youth Congress preached about respecting women, its Punjab unit uses misogynistic hashtag to target Kangana Ranaut

A tweet was posted from the official Twitter handle of Punjab Youth Congress using a highly vulgar hashtag to target Kangana Ranaut.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina delivers a resounding jolt to Pakistan during meeting with envoy, says can’t forget 1971 atrocities

The sharp response by Bangladesh Prime Minister to Pakistan reminding them of the atrocities during the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 comes at a time when pro-Pakistan Islamist organisations are opposing the statue of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

After ‘saving Aarey’, Shiv Sena led BMC gives permission to remove over 1000 trees for Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link

Initially the proposal was for removing 1172 Link trees for the Mumbai Trans-Harbour but the number was later reduced to 1,004

Kapil Mishra writes a letter to the President, says Delhi residents are repeatedly being held hostage by politically motivated protests

Kapil Mishra, in his letter, has alleged that Delhi residents have been deprived of their fundamental rights as scores of political activists have been holding the city hostage to get their demands fulfilled

Assam’s AIUDF owned NGO Ajmal Foundation receiving crores of rupees from foreign organisations known for terror funding: Report

Legal Rights Observatory has stated that Ajmal Foundation has committed FCRA violations by diverting foreign funds received in the name of education to Badruddin's political party.

India summons Canadian High Commissioner after comments by Justin Trudeau on farmers’ protest: Here is what India told Canada

On the 1st of Dec, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers had expressed concerns over ongoing farmers’ protest in India

COVID vaccine will be ready in the next few weeks, elders and frontline health workers to get it first: Big takeaways from PM Modi’s...

PM Modi said that India is better equipped for vaccine distribution as the country has vast expertise and experience of vaccination programs

WSJ drags Brahmins in domestic policy subject, American Hindu Group demands immediate withdrawal of article: All you need to know

The CoHNA demanded that WSJ remove 'Brahmin' from the OpEd and an apology be issued to the global Hindu Community.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
492,795FollowersFollow
20,300SubscribersSubscribe