On Gujarat Lok Sabha election 2019 turnout – pattern and possibilities

By Japan K Pathak

Gandhinagar: Presented here are the figures of voting percentages in Gujarat in past few Lok Sabha and assembly general elections.

It is clearly visible that turnout in assembly elections is always more compared to Lok Sabha elections. That is because in assembly polls there are more candidates while in Lok Sabha elections there are fewer candidates across the State. Also in reference to past few elections especially, the assembly polls take place in winter while Lok Sabha polls take place in peak summer.

In 2014 Lok Sabha general elections, the all India turnout was around 66.40%, the highest ever in the history of Indian general elections. In Gujarat also it was the highest ever in Lok Sabha elections at 63.66%. (It is however reported that in 1967 general elections it was highest ever at 63.77%).

In year 2017 assembly polls, turnout in Gujarat was 68.41%.

As per the pattern seen in past, Lok Sabha turnout this year should stay below or at maximum around 60%.

However, it should be pointed out here that in past few elections, voting percentages have been on higher side. If we look at recently concluded two-phase of polling in other states, the average turnout has been over 69% (phase-1 – 69.45% and phase-2 – 69.43%), which is higher than year 2014 Lok Sabha polls turnout(all phases) by around 3%. In neighboring Maharashtra also in whatever seats that went to poll, the turnout so far has been all-over above 60%. If we go by this logic, then there’s a reason to believe that turnout in Gujarat should be around or above 60%.

If you go by campaign, agendas and general atmosphere, there has been no visible wave or excitement on the ground among common people. Therefore all eyes are on polling day.

Mobilization of voters on polling day will be very crucial for political parties on close-fight seats. Conventionally, higher voting results into more seats for BJP. However every election is unique in itself. State Congress claims that it has created its booth level structure and teams. It has to be seen whether it matches to BJP’s tasted and experienced election-day mechanism on the ground.

Voters Turnout in Gujarat:

Lok Sabha elections

1996 – 35.92%

1998 – 59.30%

1999 – 47.03%

2004 – 45.60%

2009 – 47.92%

2014 – 63.66%

Assembly elections

1980 – 48.37%

1985 – 48.82%

1990 – 52.50%

1995 – 64.39%,

1998 – 59.30%

2002 – 61.54%

2007 – 59.77%

2012 – 71.85%

2017 – 68.41%

Note: Year 1998 Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Gujarat were held together. Therefore voting percentage remained same.