Why AAP performs differently in Lok Sabha and assembly elections
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has won 62 out of the 70 assembly constituencies (ACs) in Delhi with a vote share of 53.6%. This is a replication of AAP’s 2015 victory when it won 67 ACs with a vote share of 54.3%. AAP’s assembly victories are in sharp contrast to its performances in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when it won no Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs).
This means that there are two categories of voters who vote for AAP in assembly elections. The first could be described as a core voter who stays with the AAP. The other clearly comprises voters who desert it during national elections for other parties. How big are these two groups? And is AAP’s core voter base bigger in some parts of Delhi than others?
HT has analysed AAP’s vote share at the parliamentary constituency level from 2013 onwards to answer this question. When AAP made its electoral debut in the 2013 assembly elections, its support was the highest in the New Delhi PC, which can be described as the heart of the city. Chandni Chowk, which is also located centrally, had the second highest vote share for AAP. This changed in the 2014 Lok Sabha, 2015 assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when the AAP polled its highest vote share in the North-West and South Delhi PCs.
This also indicates that AAP probably has a much bigger base of core voters in these two PCs, which does not desert it even during Lok Sabha elections. Expectedly, AAP’s vote share gains between the 2019 parliamentary and 2020 assembly elections were the smallest in these two PCs.
But interestingly, in these elections, it is the Chandni Chowk and New Delhi PCs which have seen the highest vote share for AAP yet again — perhaps an indication that this has a big group of voters that vote AAP during state elections and BJP, or even Congress, during national ones.
This year’s assembly election marks AAP’s most consistent performance in the past five elections (three assembly and two Lok Sabha polls) it has contested in Delhi. This can be seen from the difference between the highest and lowest vote share across PCs (for the analysis ACs are aggregated into PCs). This difference is the lowest, 5.2 percentage points in 2020.