In this BloombergQuint article, Praveen Chakravarty, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Instititute, writes about why there is strong electoral math support for the BJP to hold early and simultaneous elections to arrest its decline. Excerpts:
"A recent article (12 Reasons Why Lok Sabha Elections Could Happen In Next 100 Days) by Rajesh Jain, the architect of BJP’s Mission 272 electoral campaign in 2014, has captured the imagination of political pundits, analysts, and leaders. The article lists out six reasons for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to be advanced and held as early as in May 2018. The article goes on to draw six inferences from recent events to substantiate this claim. The first and foremost reason the article cites as a rationale for early elections is a declining trend in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s electoral performance since 2014 and hence an early election is the BJP’s best bet to arrest its loss. While Rajesh Jain’s arguments are intuitive and observational, what does data tell us about a seemingly declining trend for the BJP?
There have been 15 state elections held in the four years since the 2014 general election. One can impute BJP’s potential performance based on what economists call ‘revealed preferences’ of voters in these state elections. This is very different from electoral surveys where voters are expected to answer questions to a pollster, which is fraught with various flaws, intentional or otherwise. While the usual caveats of how state elections differ from parliament elections etc. apply, a revealed preference analysis of voter choices in state elections is a reasonable method to gauge the trend of BJP’s popularity with voters, after its 2014 victory.
In the 2014 general elections, the BJP won 282 of the total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, a clear majority. Subsequent to the 2014 general elections, there have been state elections held in 15 of India’s 29 states. Each Lok Sabha seat corresponds to a fixed set of assembly constituencies in each state. So, one can aggregate assembly constituencies to impute potential Lok Sabha seats."
Read the full article here.