Lok Sabha elections 2019: Can BJP reverse 2018 election losses in Rajasthan?
While Congress did win the polls, its performance according to many commentators was lacklustre since it only got a 0.5 percentage point lead over BJP in terms of vote share and stopped one short of the halfway mark in the assembly.Updated: Apr 04, 2019 11:33 IST
Among the three Hindi belt states that went to the polls – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – the Congress was expected to have the best prospects in Rajasthan in the 2018 assembly elections. The state has a history of alternating between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1993.
While Congress did win the polls, its performance according to many commentators was lacklustre since it only got a 0.5 percentage point lead over BJP in terms of vote share and stopped one short of the halfway mark in the assembly. If the 2018 results were to be extrapolated at the Parliamentary Constituency level, BJP would have got 13 seats, while Congress would have got 12. This lent credibility to the belief that Rajasthan could swing back towards the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, as the state government and not the central government was the reason for anti-incumbency.
Two sets of statistics, however, suggest that a BJP bounceback is less likely in the state. One, 12 out of the 13 independent MLAs elected in the assembly have joined the Congress after it formed the government in Rajasthan. The 12 MLAs are from the following constituencies: Sri Ganganagar, Khandela, Shahpura, Dudu, Bassi, Behror, Thanagazi, Gangapur, Kishangarh, Marwar Junction, Sirohi, and Kushalgarh. If their votes were to be added to the Congress, its lead vis-à-vis the BJP widens significantly (2.8 percentage points compared to 0.5 without the independents). Once the inductions in the Congress are factored in, the extrapolated PC results also look very different, with the Congress winning 16 of the 25 seats.
See Chart 1: Vote share and extrapolated PC-wise seat share of Congress BJP before and after induction
Also, electoral trends since 1998 suggest that Rajasthan is unlikely to swing radically between the assembly and subsequent Lok Sabha elections. In fact, since 1998, the state has bucked the assembly trend in the next Lok Sabha only once in 1999. The anatomy of that result was extremely interesting. While the Congress retained its assembly vote share of 45%, the BJP was able to consolidate almost the entire Opposition vote share.
See Chart 2: Assembly and Lok Sabha trends
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