General Elections 2019 – Will Modi retain the throne?
Even after 3 years Modi is still maintaining his magic and BJP and NDA are way ahead of Congress and UPA. This week am going to give the projected figures for BJP and NDA if elections are held in 2019 as things stand now. I have done this survey purely on the past data and have put seats on the vote percentages based on bye elections in various states and state assembly elections after 2014. The results show that BJP which got 282 on its own in 2014 might drop a bit and might get between 276-278 seats which still above the majority mark of 272.
BJP will lose in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and Chattisgarh but might make up by picking up handsomely in North east, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal. That more or less balances losses with the gains. NDA however might go up marginally from 321 to around 340 which is primarily to do with the AIADMK and JDU joining NDA and TDP, Shiv sena and Akali dal delivering better than what they delivered in 2014.
Let us now look at the state wise break up.
1. Andhra Pradesh: In 2014 elections there was an alliance between TDP-BJP which helped the combine to win 17 out of 25 seats. The combined vote share is 36%. YSRCP which won 8 seats had a vote share of 29%. Congress won 0 seats with vote share of 12%. If we look at the scenario of 2019 we need to look at the trends in bye elections in 2016 and 2017. The bye elections in Tirupati and Nandyal recently indicates a strong wave for TDP-BJP combine and they will win 20 out of 25 seats in 2019. That’s +3 for TDP-BJP combine.
2. Assam: 14 seats are there in Assam and BJP has been doing wonderful in the states from 2014. In 2014 BJP won 7 out of 14 seats. But the real turn around happened in 2016 assembly elections where NDA led by BJP got 42% vote share. Congress was 2nd with 31% vote. Having lost that feel good and if we take 38-40% vote for NDA and 31-33% for UPA in 2019, we get 9 seats
for NDA and 5 for UPA. That’s +2 for BJP in Assam.
3. Bihar: This is where BJP will make a huge gain. In 2014 elections BJP got 22 out of 40 seats with 39% vote share. JDU got 16% vote. Now if they fight together and even if BJP loses 10% vote share also because in 2014 it was a multi cornered contest the JDU-BJP combine will have 45% vote vs RJD-Cong combine of 28% vote. That would mean 25 seats for NDA and 15 seats for UPA. Here also its +3 seats up for BJP.
4. Chattisgarh: Chattisgarh has 11 seats and its always tug of war between Congress and BJP. In 2014 BJP won 10 out of 11 seats with 49% vote and congress 1 seat with 39% vote. Now the scene is bit changed. There were no bye elections happened after 2014 and the state will go for assembly elections in late 2018. That should provide a strong indicator. But with naxal problem not solved and bit of anti-incumbency I predict 6 seats for BJP with 45% vote and 5 for Congress with 44% vote. First time is -4 for BJP.
5. Delhi & Goa: Together they have 9 seats. In 2014 elections BJP won 9 out of 9 seats. More or less the popularity is intact and I see them not losing more than 2 seats in Delhi and 1 in Goa. So minimum they would get 6 out of 9 and congress 3. That’s one more -3 down for BJP.
6. Gujarat: It is the personal turf of Modi. Gujarat has 26 seats. In 2014 BJP won 26/26. With Amit shah in charge BJP will retain it hold. Whatever maybe the result of assembly elections BJP will maintain its 26/26 record in 2019 also. So, its status quo for BJP.
7. Haryana: It’s a complicated state with 10 seats. In 2014 BJP won 7 out of 10 with 35% vote. INLD a strong force in Haryana won 2 seats and Congress 1. However, in just few months the assembly elections saw BJP vote slipping to 33%. With strong anti-incumbency and Ram Rahim effect BJP is set to lose heavily in this state. I see a 10% drop in vote share which will take BJP to 25% and it might end up winning 3 seats. INLD might win 5 and Congress 2. That means its -4 for BJP here also.
8. Himachal and J&K: Put together these two states have 10 seats and BJP won 7 out of 10 here in 2014. Himachal will be cake walk for BJP and Jammu also might give BJP its 3 seats. So, this time also am expecting a 7 out of 10. That means status quo.
9. Jharkhand: This is a tribal state with 14 seats and in 2014 BJP did exceedingly well bagging 12 out of 14. BJP got 40% vote. In the assembly elections that followed BJP got 35% vote share. Keeping 32% as vote share because of anti-incumbency I see BJP bagging 9 out of 14 and UPA 5. That’s -3 for BJP again.
10. Karnataka: Karnataka has 28 seats and in 2014 BJP got 17 out of 28 getting 43% vote. This time Congress might suffer a setback in assembly elections and in 2019 I see BJP vote share going to 45% that means 21 out of 28 seats which is +4 more than 2014.
11. Kerala: In 2014 BJP scored zero out of 20 seats. But it got 10% vote share for the first time. But the good news comes from 2016 assembly elections where BJP got 15% vote. Since then they are on a rise and if we look at 2019 I expect BJP to touch 20% vote share which will give it minimum 6 seats in a 3-cornered contest. That’s a huge account opening for BJP and a +6 addition to its tally.
12. Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh has 29 seats and BJP won 27 out of it with 55% vote share. The recently held bye elections in 2 seats saw BJP getting a vote share of 48%. That is a drop of 7% which means BJP might end up at 23 and Congress 6 in 2019. That’s -4 for BJP from MP.
13. Maharashtra: It’s a very complicated state to predict. There are 48 seats here and BJP Shiv sena combined won 41 out of 48. BJP got 27% vote and Shiv sena 21% vote. But in the assembly elections later BJP went alone and got 28% vote and Shiv sena dropped to 19%. Now the scenario is different. BJP must be with Shiv sena and together both might end up with 45% vote. If Congress forms an alliance with NCP then they can together get 41% vote. That would mean 28 seats for NDA and 20 for UPA. That’s a huge drop of -13 seats. But if BJP manages to keep NCP away from congress and make it a 3-cornered fight then it might end up getting 36 seats which will be a drop of -5 which is a much better scenario.
14. North east: Minus Assam North east accounts for 10 seats and in 2014 BJP won just 1 out of 10 seats. But with Himantha Biswa Sarma making BJP strong in North east BJP will win the lone seat in Arunachal, 2 in Manipur, 2 in Meghalaya and 1 in Sikkim. That takes the total to 6 seats. That’s a +5 for BJP from North east.
15. Orissa: Orissa has 21 seats and BJP has been eyeing this state from a long time. In 2014 elections BJP was 3rd in Orissa with 21% vote share behind Congress that had 26% and BJD which had 44%. It won just 1 out of 21 seats. The Zilla parishad and municipal elections held in 2017 saw BJP making huge gains and if those stand then BJP’s vote share might go to 30% and BJD will drop to 40%. That would mean BJP winning 8 out of 21 seats and BJD getting 13. That means its +7 for BJP in Orissa, huge gains.
16. Punjab: Punjab has 13 seats and in 2014 BJP-Akali combine won 6 out of 13. The total vote share is just 29%. Congress won 3 seats with 33% vote and AAP won 4 seats with 30% vote. Now let’s look at the Punjab assembly elections in 2017. BJP’s vote share improved to 31% from 29%, Congress jumped to 39% from 33% and AAP reduced to 23% from 30%. By 2019 with aging Amrinder Singh not able to hold the reins and with AAP in tatters I see a sweep for BJP-Akali combine with 45% vote getting 10 seats and Congress with 35% vote reduced to 3. That’s a jump of +4 seats for BJP in Punjab.
17. Rajasthan: BJP got 25/25 seats in Rajasthan in 2014 and just few months before that they won the 200-member assembly with more than 170 seats. Rajasthan is one state that has huge anti-incumbency and every govt changes in 5 years. This time elections to the state assembly are scheduled at the end of 2018 and it’s going to be tough for BJP to fight the anti-incumbency. Congress has a good leader in Sachin Pilot who can match the popularity of Vasundhara Raje Scindhia. The recent by poll went in favor of BJP but that’s not an indicator that the vote is intact. BJP got 51% vote in 2014 and that’s likely to come to around 46% in 2019 and Congress that was at 31% in 2015 might go to 39% or so. That means 18 seats for BJP and 7 for Congress. That’s a loss of -7 seats to BJP.
18. Tamilnadu: Tamilnadu and Pondy have 40 seats between them and it’s in a mess. In 2014 AIADMK swept the state winning 37 out of 40 seats with 44% vote share. This time BJP wants an alliance with AIADMK. But is AIADMK strong after Amma is a big question. DMK got 24% vote and this will go up significantly. I see a 35% vote for AIADMK and 34% for DMK and a split mandate of 21 seats for BJP and 19 for DMK-Congress. That also means a huge jump of +21 seats for BJP as its zero in 2014.
19. Telangana: Telangana is a complex state with 17 seats and in 2014 BJP-TDP combine has 2 seats from here. Telangana is a TRS bastion and unless TRS joins NDA there is no chance for it. Maximum BJP can hope for is the Secunderabad seat to it. That means a loss of 1 seat. So, -1 for BJP from here. Congress can pick up handful seats here around 5, leaving 1 to MIM and 11 for TRS.
20. Uttar Pradesh: The largest state in India with 80 seats. BJP swept in 2014 getting 73 out of 80 with 43% vote share. If we compare 2017 assembly elections BJP managed to hold on to that high vote share and got 42%. But 2 years from now things will change and am seeing a 40% vote share and 60 seats for the BJP that means a huge drop of -13 seats.
21. Uttarakhand: It’s a small state with 5 seats and I expect BJP to bag all the 5 like 2014.
22. West Bengal: It has 42 seats and in 2014 BJP got 18% vote share and 2 seats. The recent bye poll in Bengal showed BJP crossing 30% vote share and stood behind TMC. If this holds on Bengal will be a big surprise and BJP will bag 10 seats. That’s up by +8 seats.
23. Union territories: There are 4 seats in UTs and BJP like 2014 will get 3 of them.