For some time now, the Union Government has been promoting the ‘One Nation, One Election’ model. It recently got a strong impetus, when the Election Commission chief Sushil Chandra in an interview to ANI backed the idea of ‘One Nation One Election’ and added that the ECI is fully prepared and capable of conducting simultaneous elections.
The concept was first mooted by the ECI in 1983, to reduce expenditures, and now in 2022 it seems that it is within the realm of possibility and execution. This seems like a great opportunity to analyze electoral data to understand correlations between the most prominent elections in the country: Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.
In the Lok Sabha & Vidhan Sabha election series we will try to understand how people have voted in these elections, their motivations and look closely for trends. In our first post, we study the recently concluded legislative elections in Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and compare the data with the 2019 General elections.
What we observed right off the bat is that across these states’ voter participation tends to improve in state elections, while their participation lowers during the general elections. These are 2019 and 2022 elections and if you are to check out state election data from 2017, you start seeing this rise and fall pattern.
Performance of National Parties: BJP
BJP’s victories tend to be more compelling in Lok Sabha elections, compared to their performance in legislative elections- the only exception being Manipur, where their victory in the state elections had more conviction than Lok Sabha.
Performance of National Parties: INC
Compared to BJP, the INC’s performance seems clearly descending without any anomalies. The only point of interest is the major drop in Uttar Pradesh, where the significance of their assembly constituency victories seems to have dropped massively compared to their dominant victories in the General elections.
Regional Parties- Punjab
Over the past two elections, AAAP’s victory had grown in its dominance. 2019 and 2022 had clearly shown that the voters are behind AAAP. SAD’s performance among its core supporters had declined marginally, while BSP had managed to improve its victory margin even at the face of AAAP’s onslaught- perhaps a statement to BSP’s resilience among its supporters.
SAD’s accumulative vote saw a serious let down in 2022 compared to its 2019 General election performance, AAAP’s voters skyrocketed, while BSP’s overall followers diminished by half.
Regional Parties- Manipur
Naga’s People Front stood out as the only party among Manipur’s regional players to have flexed its muscle in the General election and the State legislative elections. It had a diminishing presence in terms of both victory margin and shift in voter loyalty. The party with a strong north-eastern presence still has to prove its resilience.
Regional Parties- Uttar Pradesh
Apna Dal (S), RLD & SP are gaining voters in the state legislative elections, with only BSP bucking the trend with a substantial loss of voters compared to its Lok Sabha election results. It almost seems like BSP is losing relevance in local politics.
Along with losing voters, BSP stands out for its inability to retain party loyalty with its victory seemingly weak compared to the 2019 results. Raja Bhaiya’s JD(L) seems to retain its dominating presence in its constituency. RLD and SP seem to have a lot of work cut out for them in the elections ahead in reinforcing their positions.