The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) appears to be suffering heavy losses compared with its 2014 tally, in the second phase of polling for 95 out of 97 Lok Sabha seats held on Thursday (April 18). Polling for two seats (Vellore and Tripura East) has been postponed due to violence and cash seizures.
Newsclick’s analysis based on Assembly elections results in states held after 2014 and crucial new alliances crafted by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, combined with state-level political factors that would cause changes in voting preferences, show the UPA winning as many as 59 of the 94 seats (excluding Puducherry). The lone seat for Puducherry was not analysed – hence 94 out of 95 seats that went to polls in second phase were considered.
In 2014, UPA had won 18 seats. The NDA tally is projected to dip to 21 seats from 33 last time.
Projections for Tamil Nadu’s 38 seats (out of 39) are making the biggest difference. Last time, the Jayalalitha-led AIADMK had won 37 of these seats while Pattali Makkal Katchi had won one, and BJP got one seat. This time round, projections indicate that the DMK-led alliance (including Congress and Left) will win 28 seats, while the AIADMK would drop to just 10 seats. This is based on severe discontent with the ruling AIADMK state government, chaos in the party and its splintering after Jayalalitha’s death in 2016.
Using data tools developed by Newsclick’s analytics team, swing factors for each state were calculated based on detailed study of the alliances, political trends validated by ground reports and performance of various parties in the last Assembly elections if held after 2014. For instance, in Tamil Nadu, a vote swing of 7% away from AIADMK towards the DMK-led front was factored in after mapping the Assembly election results of 2016 on Parliamentary constituencies and adding up votes according to new alliances.
Swings used to capture the political mood in each state were: Assam (5%); Bihar (8%); Chhattisgarh (2%); J&K (5%); Karnataka (2%); Maharashtra (5%); Manipur (5%); Odisha (5%); Tamil Nadu (7%); UP (3%); and West Bengal (5%).
A common factor underlying these calculations is the discontent evident against the Modi government, especially because of its failure to tackle unemployment, bring meaningful relief to farmers suffering from crashing crop prices and its brazenly communal politics. Reports from across the states indicate that these combined with local factors ranging from dissatisfaction with BJP/NDA members of Parliament to drought and other state-level factors are driving the increasing alienation of voters from the Modi-led NDA.
Coming after the poor showing of NDA in the first phase, these projections strongly point towards a weak performance of the NDA in the elections. The Northern states, that gave a massive mandate to Narendra Modi in 2014, will not do so this time, with Uttar Pradesh projected to deal a major blow to BJP and its allies.
[Data analysis by Peeyush Sharma and mapping by Glenissa Pereira]