Fewer people voted in 88 seats than last time, how much did the BJP and the opposition gain or lose?

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

New Delhi: So far, five phases of voting have been held in the Lok Sabha elections. Data released by the Election Commission shows that in most phases, voting was less than in 2019. However, the difference has been different in each phase and in different states, voting has been more or less than five years ago. This comparison has been done with the votes cast through EVMs last time because the data of postal votes for 2024 is not yet available. Analysis of the data after five rounds of voting shows that out of the 409 seats whose data was compared with 2019, about two-thirds i.e. 258 seats have seen less voting this year and in 88 (more than one in five) seats, the total number of votes has also seen a decline compared to five years ago.

In some states, seats with low turnout or fewer total votes are not evenly spread but clustered together. For example, all 20 seats in Kerala saw a drop in turnout and 12 of them recorded fewer votes in the EVMs than in 2019. In Uttarakhand too, all five seats saw lower turnout and three of the six seats saw fewer people vote this time.

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Nearly half of the seats in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu saw a drop in the total number of voters and about 90% of the seats in these states witnessed lower voter turnout. Three-fourths of the seats in UP and Madhya Pradesh also witnessed lower voter turnout, but only one-third of the seats in these Hindi heartland states witnessed lower voter turnout than in 2019.

Except for one seat in Gujarat and West Bengal, voting was less in all the seats as compared to 2019, but there was no decrease in the number of voters in any seat in Bengal, the increase in the number of voters compensated for the decrease in voting. In Gujarat, fewer votes were cast in about one-fourth of the seats. Similarly, in Bihar, 21 out of 24 seats saw less voting as compared to 2019, but only one seat saw a decline in the total number of votes.

Voting was less in 20 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra, but on the day of voting, fewer people came to vote in only six seats. Interestingly, out of the six seats across the country where fewer voters came than in 2019, five were from Maharashtra and these included Pune and Mumbai South. But this time, fewer votes were cast in only three out of five seats.

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Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal had no seats with fewer votes this time than in 2019, though all of them had some seats where turnout was lower. Chhattisgarh was the only large state where both turnout and total number of votes per seat were higher.

Though the Election Commission has not released data about the total votes cast in each seat, the fact is that voter turnout is known and the polling percentage is also known up to two decimal places. This means that it is possible to work out an approximate figure for the votes cast. This analysis is based on the same assumption. Of the 428 seats where polling took place, only 409 can be compared with 2019 as 14 seats in Assam and five Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir have been demarcated.

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