The second major day of polling in the 2014 calendar also happens to be the biggest day when 122 Parliamentary constituencies spread across 13 states and union territories will elect their MPs. Early voting trends are quite interesting to say the least.
At 11 AM, different states are reporting different dynamics, which is why Indian elections are such a maze that haunt political analysts and psephologists alike. If Rajasthan saw very high early polling (indicating a preconceived vote?), then the heartland, like always was a slow initial turnout region. Maharashtra and Karnataka also saw some brisk early polling.
In Bihar, very early trends were showing BJP+ in the pole position by a long distance. Looks like Bihar is fast emerging as a one horse race for all practical purposes.
- There seems to be a solid consolidation of upper castes behind BJP in the ratio of about 70% for BJP and 30% for the rest
- OBCs including Yadavs and Kurmis seems to be behind BJP in the range of 50% for BJP and 50% for the rest
- Even a substantial number of Muslims of Bihar (possibly the only heartland state) seem to be voting for BJP, in continuation with the trends reported on 10th April. In fact, there is a tight race between BJP and JDU as the number two choice for Muslim voters of Bihar behind UPA.
In Uttar Pradesh, early trends show BJP ahead, but not with the same distance as on April 10th. This part of Western UP seems to be a tighter race this time.
- Currently UP seems to be divided something like this – 3:2:2:2, where BJP is getting 3 out of every 10 votes while SP, BSP and Congress-RLD are all getting about 2 votes each. At a similar point of time on 10th April BJP was getting about 4 to 5 votes.
- Surprisingly, Congress seems to be in race in the early voting period at least, which could only help BJP eventually by dividing the opposition votes.
- Worryingly for the BJP, a substantial section of the MBC (Most Backward Caste) vote is accruing to the BSP; this process began on April 10th and is probably gaining some traction now. BSP also seems to be slowly becoming the number one choice of the Muslm voter. Since we classically tend to under-estimate the BSP’s core Dalit vote which is probably now getting augmented by MBC and Muslim vote, the dynamics of UP electoral scene may change. These are very early trends, but we will have to keep a close watch on all the happenings over the course of the day today.
- Is BJP emerging as the party of Upper Castes and upper crust of OBCs only, while BSP seems to be getting the MBC-Dalit-Muslim vote? Are some of the disgruntled SP voters moving towards BSP rather than BJP, or is this just limited to early trends of a few seats in today’s phase? We will try and answer these questions today and tomorrow.
As expected, MP is today showing a big BJP lead of more than 15% across the spectrum in very early trends. What is important to note here is that BJP’s vote is almost equal along gender lines, whereas Congress’s vote has a male bias to it, which indicates that Shivraj Singh Chohan, who is widely known Shivraj Mama, still has considerable hold over the female populace.
BJP has taken a big lead in North Bangalore and a slender lead in South Bangalore. There are some big surprises in store for our reports in the subsequent hours.