5 charts to summarise the results of 2024 Lok Sabha elections | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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5 charts to summarise the results of 2024 Lok Sabha elections

Jun 06, 2024 06:51 PM IST

The balance of power within the government will shift in favour of the allies rather than the centralised government which the BJP ran in 2014 and 2019

The 2024 results are drastically different from what the exit polls predicted they would be. To be sure, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) still has a majority in the Lok Sabha. What is the larger story of these elections? Here are five charts that summarise it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president JP Nadda, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and other leaders during a meeting of NDA at PM's residence, on June 5(PTI via X/narendramodi)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president JP Nadda, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and other leaders during a meeting of NDA at PM's residence, on June 5(PTI via X/narendramodi)

BJP is down compared to 2019 but NDA allies are up

This is the biggest factor that will affect the dynamic of the new NDA government. While the BJP has lost 63 seats compared to its 2019 tally of 303, other NDA allies have increased their tally from 49 in 2019 to 53 (this includes the seat won by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha in Sikkim, which BJP also contested but lost) in 2024. This means that the balance of power within the government will shift discernibly in favour of the allies rather than the centralised government which the BJP ran in 2014 and 2019. To be sure, the BJP will still have 58 seats more than what it had when it ran the 1999 Atal Bihari Vajpayee government when the NDA had a largely similar tally of 299.

Strike rate in Lok Sabha elections(HT Graphics)
Strike rate in Lok Sabha elections(HT Graphics)

The Congress has regained some of its mojo, but more against others than the BJP

The biggest reason for the BJP’s back-to-back majorities in 2014 and 2019 was its complete dominance in head-to-head battles against the Congress. Congress’s strike rate in direct contests against the BJP, where both parties finished either first or second was 12.2% and 7.9% in 2014 and 2019. This number has increased to 28.8% in 2024. To be sure, this is still a smaller number than what it was in1999, 2004 and 2009 elections. Where the Congress has performed much better is in seats where it was not in a direct contest against the BJP. Its strike rate in these PCs is 32.7% in 2024, the second highest this number has ever been since 1999 after the 2009 polls. To be sure, in absolute terms, the Congress has won more seats in direct contest elections against the BJP than other parties.

Congress strike rate against BJP(HT Graphics)
Congress strike rate against BJP(HT Graphics)

Story of two styles of Mandal politics

Had the BJP been able to repeat its 2019 tally of 62 in Uttar Pradesh it would have been able to cross the half-way mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha. However, it has not even finished as the single largest party in the state and is four seats behind the Samajwadi Party (SP). The BJP’s predicament against the SP is very different from its performance in Bihar where both the BJP and the NDA have been able to minimise their losses. What explains the difference in the performance of the INDIA block in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar? An HT analysis of the caste break-up of the INDIA alliance in two states shows that the SP-led alliance had a more representative caste equation than the RJD-led alliance in Bihar. This has allowed the SP to take its strike rate close to 60% in Uttar Pradesh compared to just 17.4% for the RJD in Bihar. This has a lesson for the future of Mandal politics against the BJP. It must be more broad-based than the 1990s-style Muslim Yadav combination.

Strike rate in Lok Sabha elections: SP in UP and RJD in Bihar(HT Graphics)
Strike rate in Lok Sabha elections: SP in UP and RJD in Bihar(HT Graphics)

The BJP peaked in West Bengal in 2019

West Bengal is India’s third-largest state and sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The BJP gained 16 seats from its 2014 tally of just two in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the state. However, it had to face a decline in both its vote share and seat share in the 2021 assembly elections despite great hype. The BJP’s seat share and vote share in the 2024 elections is almost the same as its 2021 performance. This suggests that the BJP has not been able to find the extra ballast to convert its 2019 performance into a victory in West Bengal.

BJP performance in West Bengal(HT Graphics)
BJP performance in West Bengal(HT Graphics)

BJP’s plans to prevent a grand alliance against it in Maharashtra only worked to an extent

When the Shiv Sena walked out of the NDA to form a government after the 2019 assembly elections in India’s second-largest state in terms of the number of MPs in the Lok Sabha, the BJP was faced with an existential threat in the state. An HT analysis of the 2014 assembly vote shares, when all four major parties, namely the BJP, Congress, Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party, contested separately in Maharashtra, shows that the BJP would have suffered a loss in more than three fourth of the state’s assembly constituencies. The BJP tried to deal with this consolidation by engineering a split within the Shiv Sena and the NCP. The 2024 results show that they have only worked to an extent. The NDA has managed to win 17 out of the 48 PCs in the state, which is a fall from its 2019 tally of 41 but still a better performance than what could have been the case had the Shiv Sena and the NCP been united and fought along with the Congress.

Seat share in Maharashtra(HT Graphics)
Seat share in Maharashtra(HT Graphics)

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