24 July, 2021

The Times Table

The sign of the times is: National parties out, alliances in

The Times Table

State elections are accorded importance in the ‘nat­ional’ media for one primary reason—to be able to discern trends for the next national election. The next Lok Sabha elections is in 2019. In this context, what do the results of the four states (leaving aside Pondicherry) that went to polls recently portend?

West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam account for 115 of the 543  seats in the Lok Sabha, with West Bengal and Tamil Nadu accounting for more than two-­thirds of the 115. Each Lok Sabha constitutency comprises some assembly segments and the Election Commission provides data at the assembly segment level for the Lok Sabha elections too, so it’s possible to make comparisons of parties’ performance now with that in 2014. En route to its stunning victory in 2014, the BJP had contested in 590 assembly segments in these states and won in 104 of them. In the recently concluded assembly elections, it contested in 661 and won in only 64. In the 2014 elections, similarly, the Congress contested in 749 assembly segments and won in...

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