oppn parties Does The Incumbent Suffer When There Is Low Voter Turnout?

News Snippets

  • PM Modi says anti-India forces are against him but he will not bend
  • Campaigning ends for the 6th and penultimate phase of polling for the 2024 general elections. Voting on Saturday, May 25
  • Arvind Kejriwal waits at home but Delhi cops did not turn up to question him and his family in the Swati Maliwal case
  • Delhi HC denies bail to Manish Sisodia, says non-recovery of cash not a proof that there was no corruption
  • H D Deve Gowda asks his grandson Prajwal Revanna, accused in rape and sexual molestation cases, to return to India or face his anger
  • Kolkata cops search for Bangladeshi MP Anwarul Azim Anar's chopped body parts in Bangar, near Kolkata. The MP was murdered in an apartment complex in New Town, Kolkata by opponents from bangladesh who hired a contract killer for the job
  • Clashes break out in Bengal's Nandigram as a BJP worker's mother is killed by miscreants
  • Google in talks with Foxconn to make Pixel phones and drones from plant near Chennai
  • Survey by S&P Global shows that business activity was robust in May and job creation was highest in 18 years
  • Indigo reports Rs 1895cr profit in Q4 last fiscal, and nearly $ 1bn in FY23-24, a record for Indian carriers. Proposes business class in busiest and busy routes
  • Stocks on fire on Thursday after initial uncertainty: Sensex gains 1196 points to 75418 and Nifty 369 points to 22967
  • Ricky Ponting turns down offer to coach Team India, says will not fit in his lifestyle
  • World Cup stage II archery: Pramatesh Fuge enter semifinals but men's and women's recurve teams lose their matches in the first round
  • Malaysian Open badminton: P V Sindhu enters third round after a scare and Ashmta Chaliha stuns third seed Beiwen Zhang of USA to enter third round too
  • Sharjah Challenge chess: Divya deshmukh wins title
Record RBI dividend to government spurs a rally in stock markets, Sensex and Nifty touch all-time highs intra-day on Thursday
oppn parties
Does The Incumbent Suffer When There Is Low Voter Turnout?

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2024-05-14 07:31:30

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

After the 4th phase of voting in the 2024 general elections on Monday 13th May, concerns over low voter turnout have started causing jitters across the political spectrum. Voting has been completed for 381 Lok Sabha seats till now. The turnout was 66.14% (102 seats) in phase 1, 66.71% (89 seats) in phase 2, 65.68% (94 seats) in phase 3 and 67.25% (96 seats) in phase 4. All these phases showed lower turnout than in 2019. But the major cause may not have been voter apathy as the heat wave sweeping India was also a big factor in people choosing not to vote.

Historically, the incumbent is generally on the back foot when there is low voter turnout. But this is tempered by the fact that within the low turnout, it depends on who managed to mobilize loyal voter base to visit the booths and cast their votes. If the BJP has managed to mobilize its voter base then it need not worry. But if its voters have stayed away and those of the opposition have voted in large numbers, then it has a problem at hand. The talk of 400-paar have all but vanished and the BJP is scrambling to mobilize voters in the remaining phases.

In UP and Bihar, the two states that together send 120 MPs to the Lok Sabha and where the BJP, is hoping to beat its 2019 tally, the voter turnout has not even touched 60%, but that is par for the course as these two states have never shown a high voter turnout due to many reasons, not the least being the absence of many voters who migrate to other states for work and do not return to vote. Hence, if the BJP is successful in increasing its tally in UP and Bihar, it might yet return with a two-thirds majority as it is hoping.

In the last opinion poll published before the elections in April by ABP News-CVoter, it was predicted that the NDA will get 46.6% vote share and 373 seats while the INDI alliance will get 39.8% vote share and 115 seats with 13.6% votes and 15 seats going to others. This prediction depends on which camp has mobilized its voter base better. With both camps exuding confidence (mainly for public consumption), it remains to be seen what, first the exit polls on June 1, and then the actual results on June 4 have in store for them.