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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Lok Sabha election results 2019: Arithmetic behind the surge in Modi wave

With the benefit of hindsight, it can now be safely said that these spikes in BJP’s vote shares capture the contribution of the Narendra Modi wave to the party’s historic victory.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 24, 2019 13:50 IST
Roshan Kishore
Roshan Kishore
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A comparison of BJP’s state-wise vote shares in the 2014 Lok Sabha, post-2014 assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, show that the electorate seemed to be making a conscious distinction between voting at the state level and voting at the national level.
A comparison of BJP’s state-wise vote shares in the 2014 Lok Sabha, post-2014 assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, show that the electorate seemed to be making a conscious distinction between voting at the state level and voting at the national level. (HT Photo)
         

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory in the 2014 elections was described as the result of a Narendra Modi wave. The 2019 election results can help us estimate the importance of this factor. Here’s how.

In 2014, 213 of the BJP’s 282 Lok Sabha seats came from twelve states – Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh — where it contested on its own or with minimal alliances. The BJP won 76% of the total 281 Lok Sabha seats in these states.

In all 12 states, assembly elections held after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw a decline in the BJP’s 2014 vote share.

The first big shock for the BJP came in Delhi, where it could win only three assembly seats in the 2015 elections, within months of having won all seven Lok Sabha seats. Even in the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP’s vote share went down marginally compared to 2014. The BJP also lost vote share between 2014 and 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat, Narendra Modi’s home state. And then the party lost to the Congress in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh elections in 2018.

A comparison of BJP’s state-wise vote shares in the 2014 Lok Sabha, post-2014 assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, show that the electorate seemed to be making a conscious distinction between voting at the state level and voting at the national level.

The party’s support has received a significant boost between the assembly elections after 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The last was a direct vote for Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. Not only has the BJP managed to replicate its 50% or higher vote shares in large states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, it has actually surpassed its 2014 vote shares in all 12 states listed here. The biggest gains made by the party are in the states of West Bengal and Haryana, where it has increased its 2014 vote share by 23.4 and 23.2 percentage points.

With the benefit of hindsight, it can now be safely said that these spikes in BJP’s vote shares capture the contribution of the Narendra Modi wave to the party’s historic victory. After all, these figures represent voters who are willing to desert the BJP in any other election except when it is a decision on whether or not Narendra Modi will be the country’s Prime Minister.

First Published: May 24, 2019 00:46 IST