May 18, 2016

BJP’s Gains In Assam Unrelated To Record Voter Turnouts

In this Indiaspend article, Swapnil Bhandari and Rithika Kumar of IDFC Institute write about the anti-incumbency vote for BJP in Assam against the backdrop of high voter turnout.


"We analysed the contested vote share of BJP and Congress in the last two elections–2011 state assembly and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections–and compared it to the voter turnout in 2014. Voter turnout has been on the rise since 2011 (75.92% in 2011 to 80.12% in 2014 to 84.73% in 2016), and BJP swept the state in the 2014 general elections..

By sorting the assembly constituencies (ACs) in 2014 according to the voter turnout in that year, we studied the 15 constituencies with highest turnout and 15 with the lowest turnout, and analysed the performance of BJP and Congress in these extreme constituencies in the two elections.

A simple assessment of the vote share tells us that BJP’s performance in areas with lower turnout is better than in areas with higher turnout (48.3% versus 17.5%, respectively)...

What we see is Congress’s falling momentum across the state, and a repeat of the earlier trend where BJP performed better (16% vs. 5.9%) in the lower turnout group.

To conclude, an increase in turnout did not have a corresponding impact on BJP’s vote share. In fact, its growing presence in Assam can be attributed to its strengthening grip in Barak Valley and Upper Assam, irrespective of lower voter turnout. So, there is an anti-incumbency factor in favour of BJP but it is not related to higher turnout."


Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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