Lok Sabha Elections dates announced: In 2014, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) became the first party in three decades to win Majority on its own in the Lok Sabha. Can the party repeat this performance? In the Pre-election (FPTP) First-Past-Time-Post system, electoral predictions are a dangerous practice. This is because the level of popular support (measured by vote shares) can have separate seats for a party. This author wrote in a piece published in the Mint in 2017 that despite the vote share of the Congress, it failed to get a majority in the previous elections, which was larger than what the BJP did in 2014.
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Despite this major warning, the possibility of BJP’s re-election will depend much on how it performs in the form of its six big states. It is the undivided kingdom of Bihar (now Bihar and Jharkhand), Uttar Pradesh (now Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and Madhya Pradesh (now Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) with Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. There are a total of 278 Lok Sabha seats in these states, which is slightly more than 50% of the total 543 seats. Since the 1989 elections, at least 70% of the BJP’s total Lok Sabha seats have come from these states.
In 2014, the BJP won 80% of the Lok Sabha seats from these states, there has been a substantial improvement over its past performance. BJP’s performance in each of these states was the best. Interestingly, the party won only 61 seats in the rest of the country, only nine more than the previous best performance of 52 in the 1999 elections.
It can be said with a reasonable degree of confidence that if the BJP has to reach the past or near the magic figure of 272, then it should avoid any significant losses in the big six states, which was in 2014. This raises the question of vote share.
Lok Sabha Elections dates announced, All you need to know about this election
As expected, 2014 was also BJP’s best performance in the big six states in terms of vote share. However, its advantage in terms of seats was disproportionate to the vote share profit, which is not surprising in the FPTP system. For the latest updates, and trending news you can visit www.indiatimelines.com.
The second is whether opposition unity will reduce BJP’s seat share with better vote share levels. It will play a big role in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Legislative elections since 2014 show that the BJP could not maintain its 2014 vote share status in most of these states. If these trends continue, BJP may lose a significant number of seats in these states.
The question is whether the BJP will be able to overturn this trend and a significant number of voters can do it in their favor. In 2019, it will probably be an election where between 2014 and 2019 the opposition will have more interest in defending what the BJP’s campaign might be about attacking the Opposition.