Experts feel the BJP will not be able to reproduce its impressive performance of the 2014 Lok Sabha election in West Bengal in the upcoming Assembly polls. The BJP won 17 per cent vote share in the state in the general elections, thanks to the Narendra Modi wave. A big chunk of the anti-Trinamool Congress (TMC) vote had gone to the BJP as the electorate did not find either the Left or the Congress a viable alternative.
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Know your state: West Bengal
In many areas, supporters of the Left took shelter in the BJP camp to escape the TMC's wrath. Hence, the BJP ultimately benefited the most from the anti-incumbency mood against Mamata Banerjee.
Two years since then, the Left and the Congress, who have made an electoral understanding in this election to dethrone Banerjee, are hopeful that the vote share which had gone to the BJP in 2014 will come to it.
How the BJP's 17 per cent vote share behave in the April-May election will have a key impact on this Assembly election. Will the vote-share get equally divided between the TMC and Left-Congress alliance or will there be a lack of balance? Answer to these questions are very important for this year's election in Bengal.
According to the experts, the BJP could get 35 per cent of the vote share it had recieved in 2014, which means around six per cent. What about the rest 11 per cent then?
In graph: What if the BJP's vote-share in 2014 LS poll gets split between the TMC and Left-Congress alliance?
If the Congress-Left alliance gets 40 per cent of the BJP's vote-share and the TMC the remaining 25 per cent, then the TMC's vote share will be just over 44 per cent [2011 share of 38.9 per cent plus 25 per cent of the BJP's 2014 vote share of 17, which is 4.25]
The alliance, on the other hand, gets 40 per cent of the BJP's 2014 vote share, then its total share will be 57 [Left's 2011 vote share of 41.1 per cent + Congress's 2011 share of 9.1 + 40 per cent of BJP's 2014 share, which is 6.8]
In case the alliance gets 45 per cent of the BJP's 2014 vote share, then its share will go up to 57.85 while that of the TMC will be 43.2 per cent.
In case the alliance gets 50 per cent of the BJP's 2014 vote-share, then its share will be 58.7 per cent while the TMC, with a possible 15 per cent vote share, could see its share at 42.35 per cent.
But TMC will lead seat-wise:
But if we focus on the seats, then the TMC wins the race by a big margin. The party, which had won 184 seats in the 2011 election with 39.8 per cent vote share, could win 203 seats with 44.05 and 199 seats with 43.2 per cent vote-shares, respectively.
But the alliance, despite a higher vote-share, may win just 118 seats with 57 per cent vote share and 119 with 57.85 per cent vote share, respectively. Their joint tally in the 2011 election is 104 (Left 62 + Congress 42).
With 58.7 per cent share, the alliance's seat tally could be just 121 as against the TMC's 195 (with a share of 42.35).
Alliance will like to get entire BJP's 2014 share while TMC will want BJP to maintain its share
Hence, the situation looks quite tricky for both sides. Despite a high vote share, the alliance has lagged behind in terms of seats because its area of dominance is far too concentrated in some districts while for the TMC, it is a much wider base to win from. The alliance will only hope to get the entire vote-share that the BJP had in 2014 while the TMC will hope for the BJP to maintain its own share of anti-establishment votes.