December 21, 2017

Patels, Farmers, Businessmen: Who Voted How In The Gujarat Elections?

In this BloombergQuint article, Praveen Chakravarty, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Instititute, analyses the outcome of the recent Gujarat elections. Excerpts:


"The BJP has won 99 seats in the 2017 election compared to 115 in the 2012 election, a loss of 16 seats. The Congress and its alliance have won 80 seats, compared to 61, a gain of 19 seats. Of the BJP’s 99 seats, 53 are urban and 46 are rural. Essentially, BJP won 80 percent of all urban seats. The Congress and allies won 60 percent of all rural seats. Where did the BJP and Congress lose and gain seats vis-à-vis the 2012 election? Of the original 115 seats that the BJP won in 2012, it has lost 34 of them in 2017 - 27 rural constituencies and 7 urban. It gained 18 new constituencies from the Congress’s tally in 2012, largely rural ones. Hence a net loss of 16 seats. There was significant ground reporting during the elections that suggested severe voter angst, especially in the urban constituencies. What explains this dissonance between ground reporting and actual results? It is the margin of victory for the BJP in the 2014 elections in these urban constituencies. The BJP won urban constituencies by such a massive margin that even a seemingly big swing against the BJP was not enough to convert into seats for the Congress.


The interesting trend is that compared to 2012, both the BJP and Congress have gained vote share across all segments – urban, rural, rich, poor, youth and Muslim constituencies. However, compared to 2014, the BJP has seen a huge fall in its vote share across these segments while the Congress has gained. So, the Congress has gained in vote share, compared to both 2012 and 2014, while the BJP has retained or gained marginally since 2012 but lost big since 2014. The 2017 Gujarat election has been one where, paradoxically, both the BJP and Congress have claimed victory – one electoral, the other political. The Congress claims that this is the lowest tally of seats for the BJP in 20 years and its highest in 25 years. The BJP claims that it has won Gujarat for an incredible sixth consecutive time and remains undefeated for two decades. Both are absolutely right. The real question though is what does this Gujarat state election portend for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections?"


Read the whole article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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