Here's how BJP earned the massive mandate: Explained in numbers
CSDS data analyses for ET show how BJP expanded its base across social groups, rural, semi-urban and urban regions and among first-time voters, even as it turned caste mathematics on its head by racing ahead across constituencies.
Verdict 2019 indicates BJP (303 seats, 37.6% vote share) not only managed to retain its support base vis-à-vis 2014, but also expanded geographically and socially. In Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir (Jammu region), BJP improved its 2014 performance (Table 1), with vote share surpassing 50% in all except Assam and J&K. Of its 303 seats, BJP won 224 by more than 50% votes.
The party’s performance in Bengal, Odisha, Tripura and, to some extent in Telangana, shows geographical expansion (Table 2). In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharash--tra and Jharkhand, where parties formed an alliance against BJP, the latter’s excellent performance is evidence of expansion of its support base among new social groups. (Table 3). Verdict 2019 shows BJP managed to make further inroads among rural and semi-urban voters, while keeping its urban votes. BJP’s vote share increased 6.6% in rural constituencies, 3.5% in semi-urban and 2.2% in urban constituencies.
Caste-community arithmetic was upturned by BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Its vote share went up in all categories of constituencies, as also in constituencies with various proportions of Dailt, Adivasi and Muslim population. Data from CSDS postpoll survey indicates 8% of Muslims voted for BJP in 2019, similar to how they voted in 2014.
And then there was the big increase in support of first-time voters for BJP. Farmers also voted for BJP in large numbers in many states. In my opinion, this is much more a vote for nationalism, for the hope and the faith people have in Narendra Modi.
The writer is director of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). Views expressed are personal.