In 2009, voters in rural India had voted for the Congress. In the next elections, they say they will vote for the BJP. (HT Photo)
An electoral swing shows the extent of change in voter support typically from one election to another, expressed as a positive or negative percentage. A swing is calculated by comparing the vote percentage in a particular election to the vote percentage for the same party in the previous election.
But, in a normal Swing Analysis, it is hard to predict which party's voters are shifting to which other party. In order to predict that, instead of doing swing analysis at the overall level, we compare the vote shift only among voters who had voted in the last general election.
In our questionnaire, we asked the respondents who had voted in the last general election which party they had voted for. We also asked the same respondents which party they would vote for if elections were held today. A comparison of this information allowed us to calculate the percentage of respondents each party managed to retain or lose. Moreover, this also allowed us to gauge which party would benefit from the respondents' choice to leave their previous party.
Out of the total interviewed respondents, 91% claimed that they had voted in the last general elections. Results showed that the BJP is benefitting due to the vote swing against the Congress party.
When we compared those who voted for the BJP in the last General election, we found that the party has managed to retain around 9 out of 10 voters across demographics.
However, that is not the case for the Congress, which is losing voters in the Metros. According to the analysis, the Congress manages to retain only 68% of its earlier voters in Metros, with 25% shifting to the BJP. Overall, the analysis indicate that only 1.7% voters switched to the Congress party, whereas 7.6% switched into the BJP. Interestingly, other parties, such as the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, AIADMK etc do not gain much from the exodus of support from the Congress. The affluent, males and those below 45 years of age seem to be the groups leaving the Congress en masse. When it comes to zones, apart from the east zone where it manages to retain a high proportion of voters, the Congress comes a cropper everywhere else.
(Indranil Banerjee, Group Manager, Consumer Research and Amit Sharma, Manager, GfK Mode, the agency which conducted the survey)