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National Trends in Voting

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The 2014 Lok Sabha Election is a major watershed in electoral history of India in that it has delivered a decisive mandate for a single party rule despite it receiving less than one-third of votes. Following were the broader trends noticed:

* The Bhartiya Janata Party which is mandated to rule the Centre for next five years polled 172 million votes, 64 million more votes than it received in 2009. This is 31% of the total votes cast in the country. But it bagged 282 seats, i.e., around 52%.
* The nearest rival Indian National Congress polled 106 million votes, i.e., 19.3% but could win only 44 seats in the 543-member house.
* The BJP won the largest number of seats, i.e., 71 in Uttar Pradesh without a major electoral ally.
* The BJP substantially increased its voteshare in Odisha (i.e., 22% against 21.5% of the Congress) and West Bengal (i.e., 17% against 9.6% of the Congress) without gaining any substantial number of seats. Even in Kerala it received 10.3% popular votes, which is more than double of what the Indian Union Muslim League polled i.e., 4.5%. Muslim League could win two LS seats.
k The BJP did not win any seat in Kerala. But Congress did not bag any seat in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu among the major states.
* Most BJP victories were by handsome margins. It won only one seat by less than 5,000 vote margin. Around 195 seats won by it were with a margin of over one lakh votes. Overall, the BJP candidates won by an average margin of 1.69 lakh votes.
* All the BJP allies benefitted from the party’s good performance except the Shrimoni Akali Dal which did badly in Punjab. The downswing in Congress fortunes resulted in its allies also performing miserably.
* Regional parties performed superbly in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh but sank in Bihar (eg. RJD and JDU), UP (SP and BSP), Maharashtra(NCP and MNS) and Assam (AGP). In Jammu and Kashmir the main regional party National Conference (NC) lost ground to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
* A major conclusion drawn from the voteshare analysis is that good voteshare does not necessarily result in larger number of seats. 19% votes for the Congress did not bring it 103 seats, going by the percentage. Its tally is less than half of what it ought to have received. Similarly, AIADMK bagged 37% seats with merely 3.8% of votes while BSP despite 4.1% of national votes does not figure in the seats tally of the Lok Sabha.

Voteshare and Seats Won
Following is the voteshare by prominent political parties and the seats bagged by the important national parties.
Party Voteshare % Seats Won
Bhartiya Janata Party 31 282
Congress 19.3 44
AIADMK 3.3 37
Trinamool Congress 3.8 34
Communist Party Marxist 3.2 09
Communist Party of India 0.8 01
Samajwadi Party 3.5 05
Bahujan Samaj Party 4.1 00
Nationalist Congress Party 1.6 06
Biju Janata Dal 1.7 20
Lok Dal 0.2 02
Aam Aadmi Party 02 02
Lok jana Shakti Party 0.4 06
Telugu Desam 2.5 16
Rashtriya Janata Dal 1.4 04
Janata Dal Secular 0.7 02
Shiv Sena 1.9 18