As the 2019 General Elections come to a close, everyone wants to know the result. Before the exit polls start running a few hours from now, the psephologist in me tried to analyse the past election results (2014 Lok Sabha & subsequent state elections), the ground reports from various journalists across the country, the new alliances (chemistry & arithmetic) and voter turnouts to make my personal prediction for Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Lets start with the big states first and the biggest of them is Uttar Pradesh which send 80 lawmakers to the parliament.
Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Rastriya Lok Dal are fighting together (MGB) this time to make this battleground state very interesting and probably a psephologists nightmare. BJP along with its alliance partner won 73 seats in 2014. If the arithmetic of the MGB works together in the ground then it will be very difficult for BJP to hold on to so many seats this time around.
MGB: 48 (SP: 24; BSP: 22; RLD: 2)
There are about 12 seats where close fights happening and its a little difficult to predict how much damage Mr. Shivpal Yadav is doing to MGB. But taking all into consideration I am confident on my above prediction. May 23rd will prove if my thought process was right or wrong.
Now, lets move to the next big state and thats Maharastra.
Maharashtra is another state where, NDA (BJP & Shiv Sena) virtually swept winning 42 of the available 48 seats. The NCP won 4 seats while Congress won 2 in 2014. Has anything changed this time? In 2014, MNS lead by Mr. Raj Thackeray put up candidates in many seats and got sizeable amount of votes in Mumbai & surroundings. This time around he has not put up candidates and in turn has been doing big rallies against NDA. The NDA partner, Shiv Sena was up in arms against BJP for the last 5 years but right before elections stitched up an alliance. Will this lead to voter apathy against Shiv Sena? Will MNS hurt Shiv Sena more to get the legacy of the late Mr. Bal Thakeray? UPA on the other hand stitched together a good alliance and Mr. Sharad Pawar lead the UPA campaign very well. There was visible chemistry between the supporters of the 2 main parties of UPA. Add the rural distress in the state and its visibly clear that the NDA sweep which Mr. Amit Shah boasted off is not happening. So what would be the final results of Maharastra?
NDA: 29 (BJP 18; SS 11)
UPA: 19 (INC 10; NCP 9)
Lets now move to West Bengal.
I already gave my analysis on West Bengal couple of days back.
The next big state which I am going to talk about is Bihar.
The state of Bihar sends 40 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha. This is another state where the alliance dynamics have been quite fluid in the last 5 years. In 2014, it was a triangular fight between NDA (BJP, LJP, RLSP), UPA (RJD, INC, NCP) and JD (U). In 2019 the fight is bipolar with JD(U) back in the NDA fold but RLSP left NDA and joined UPA. Add to that Mr. Sharad Yadav leaving JD(U) and joining RJD and 2 relatively new but small parties namely HAM (carved out of JD(U) and lead by former chief minister, Mr. Jiten Majhi) and VIP joining the UPA alliance. With these new dynamics in place I am very sure Bihar would also be a psephologist’s nightmare because it would be very difficult to predict who is gaining from whom and who is cutting whose votes when one analyse seat by seat in the state. Having said that, arithmetically with JD(U) back in NDA its base has become more broader.
NDA: 27 (BJP 14; JD(U) 10; LJP 3)
UPA: 13 ( RJD 6; INC 5; RLSP 2)
The next state we will focus on now is the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Interestingly this state has been a psephological nightmare in the past and the biggest howler being 2004. This time also its difficult to predict. This is the first major election thats happening in TN after the death of Ms. Jayalalitha and Mr. Karunanidhi. BJP has stitched up an alliance with AIADMK and few more regional parties namely, DMDK & PMK. The interesting bit is that Mr. TTK Dinakaran broke AIADMK after Ms. Jayalalitha’s death and formed a new party AMMK and has been campaigning as the true heir of Amma’s legacy. AMMK is fighting alone and how much is he hurting AIADMK, only final results on 23rd May will reveal. There is another new player in the mix and thats Mr. Kamal Hassan’s MNM party. Is MNM making a difference this election? We will know in a few days time. One point to be noted that though Tamil Nadu sends 39 MPs to the parliament, this time elections were held in 38 seats with the election of Vellore being postponed due to corruption.
UPA: 31 (DMK 18, INC 5, VCK 2, Other DMK partners: 6)
NDA: 2 (BJP 1, PMK 1)
Since we have entered south, lets finish off all the southern states one by one. Lets get to Karnataka now.
Karnataka sends 28 lawmakers to the parliament. In 2014, BJP won 17 seats, INC won 9 seats and JD (S) won 2 seats. It was a triangular fight in 2014. In 2019, there has been a slight change in political dynamics of Karnataka. INC and JD(S) are now fighting together in an alliance so its a bipolar election in Karnataka this time. How the alliance of INC and JD(S) working in the ground will determine the final outcome in this state.
NDA: 14 (BJP 14)
UPA: 14 (INC: 11, JD(S): 3)
Now on to Andhra Pradesh.
Once a citadel of the Congress party is now mainly a fight between 2 regional parties TDP and YSRCP. Both the national parties, BJP and INC are fighting for 3rd and 4th position here. How Mr. Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party performs would be interesting to watch. Andhra Pradesh sends 25 MPs to the parliament.
This is a new state curved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. The move actually decimated Congress with all INC leaders of Seema Andhra joining Mr. Jagan Reddy of YSRCP virtually wiping out Congress from the state. Telangana now is a one horse race with Mr. KC Rao of TRS holding all the aces. In the recent State Elections he came back with a thumping majority. Telangana sends 17 MPs to the parliament. Quite an easy state to predict.
UPA: 2 (INC 2)
NDA: 1 (BJP 1)
The final state in South India is Kerala.
Kerala has always been a bipolar state with the fight being between CPI (M) lead LDF and INC lead UDF. BJP improved its vote share in 2014 and seems to have increased its vote share further this time. Will it lead to major surprises in 2019 or will BJP manage to open its account in Kerala is something which 23rd May will have an answer. Interestingly, INC President, Mr. Rahul Gandhi is fighting from Wayanad in Kerala this time. Will this have an effect in the overall results in Kerala? We will know in a few days.
UPA: 17 (INC 13, UDF partners 4)
Now lets move to the Central part of India.
Madhya Pradesh sends 29 MPs to the parliament. BJP won 27 of them in 2014 general elections. In the recently concluded State Legislative elections, MP witnessed a very close fight between BJP and Congress. Add to this the tribal belt problems and rural distress and MP becomes an interesting elections to follow. Mr. Narendra Modi’s image is an automatic vote catcher. Will this be the deciding factor?
Chhattisgarh which sends 11 lawmakers to the parliament is another state which BJP virtually swept in 2014 by winning 10 seats. In December 2018 legislative assembly elections, INC stormed back to power after 15 years with a huge mandate. Will this effect the performance of BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections or will the Modi image still rule the roost? Important thing to note is that Chhattisgarh is a primarily rural state with a sizeable tribal population and will that have a major effect in the Lok Sabha polls would be interesting to see.
Chhattisgarh’s nearest neighbour is Odisha and that state would be our next focus.
Like Bengal, Odisha is another state from where BJP expects to make sizeable gains. Will BJP be able to do that is what everyone is looking forward to. Mr. Naveen Patnaik’s BJD has been ruling Odisha for 20 long years. With INC now in the fringes, BJP has taken over as the main opposition party. Will Congress be able to hold on to its core vote share? Will Congress be able to get any seats due to candidate’s personal connect and charisma? Will BJP be able to gain a sizeable amount of seats? All these will be answered on 23rd May.
Lets move towards the Western Part of the Country. Our destination is Gujarat.
Gujarat is a BJP bastion. Add to this, its Mr. Modi’s and BJP president, Mr. Amit Shah’s home state. Mr. Amit Shah himself is fighting from Gandhinagar. In 2014, BJP did a complete sweep of Gujarat winning all the 26 seats on offer. Other than a couple of seats, the margin of victory in each seat was humongous. Congress made a small comeback in the 2017 state elections though BJP won with a reduced majority. Will the same pattern follow in 2019 or will the Modi-Shah juggernaut roll over INC? Will the rural distress and tribal populated seats hurt BJP? To be fair, the fight is only in 10-12 seats and in the rest BJP is way ahead.
Next we move to the neighbouring state of Rajasthan.
Another state where BJP did a complete sweep in 2014 winning all the 25 seats. This is another state where the agrarian crisis has been felt and there is a sizeable tribal population as well. This combination lead to the BJP government be defeated in the December State Assembly polls. Will we see a repeat or will the Modi image blow over the Congress party? The Balakot strikes had a good traction in this state and will that effect the electorate is something which we will have to see. Once again a state where the rural-urban divide could be interesting to see.
Lets now move to the northern state of Haryana.
With the break up of INLD, this election has become more of a 2 party race other than Hisar. BJP won 7 out of the 10 seats in 2014. Will they be able to hold on will be interesting to see.
Now we will move to the North East State of Assam.
Assam used to be a strong hold of Congress for many years but after BJP came to power in the state, it has been a downhill battle for the Congress party. The state sends 14 MPs to the parliament. Will BJP be able to gain further or will they lose ground is what would be interesting to see. AIUDF fighting separately and AGP siding with BJP could have an effect on the final tally. Will the controversy surrounding the Citizen Amendment Bill have an effect on these elections or will the Modi magic rule the roost once again?
Another tribal dominated state and a state where UPA got its alliance in place quite early. In 2014 BJP won 12 of the 14 seats in Jharkhand. How will it shape up this time? Will the tribal belt go away from BJP? Lets wait and watch.
UPA: 7 (INC 4, JMM 2, JVM 1)
NCT of Delhi:
BJP won by a huge margin in each of the 7 seats in Delhi in 2014. AAP came second and Congress was pushed to a distant third. In 2019 a long drama was played out with AAP and Congress playing hide and seek with regards to an alliance which finally didn’t take place. Will that help BJP in the final picture? We will get to know soon. Frankly speaking BJP is way ahead of the opposition in 3 seats. The battle is only on the other 4 seats. Will it lead to any change in the seat scenario only time will tell.
Another state where BJP swept in 2014 winning all the 5 seats on offer.
Another state where BJP swept in 2014 winning all the 4 seats on offer.
Jammu & Kashmir:
J&K is witnessing a 4 way fight this time between, BJP, INC, JKNC and PDP.
This was one state which Congress didn’t do as badly as the rest of North India. With the Congress in power in the state, will it help Congress to consolidate or will NDA make a comeback? Will AAP hold on to its 4 seats or is their popularity waning. We will get to know the answers on 23rd May.
The prediction for rest of the states and UTs are given below:
Arunachal Pradesh (2 Seats)
Goa (2 Seats)
Manipur (2 Seats)
Meghalaya (2 Seats)
Mizoram (1 Seat):
Nagaland (1 Seat):
Sikkim (1 Seat):
Tripura (2 Seats):
Andaman & Nicobar Islands (1 Seat):
Chandigarh (1 Seat):
Dadra & Nagar Haveli (1 Seat):
Daman & Diu (1 Seat):
Lakshwadeep (1 Seat):
Puducherry (1 Seat):
So all India total and alliance arithmetic:
NDA: 216 (BJP: 187)
UPA: 191 (INC: 133)
Left Front: 5 Seats
Others: 130 Seats (TMC 32, SP 24, BSP 22, YSRCP 19, TRS 13, BJD 7, Others 13)
Overall numbers predict a very hung parliament but with the error margin it could be easier for one of the combinations to form the government, if the extreme end of the error margin is taken.