UP elections 2014 & 2017: Looking at vote-shares of BJP and its opponents
Lucknow, Jan 15: The decision by two key regional parties from Uttar Pradesh, politically India's biggest state - Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) - to leave out the Congress from their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha election has been seen by pundits as a key pre-electoral development. BSP supremo Mayawati, who has attacked the Congress earlier as well, has virtually concluded that there is no electoral gain in tying up with the Grand Old Party saying its votes never get transferred. The Congress later decided to contest in all 80 seats of UP in the Lok Sabha election alone.
Whether the absence of the Congress, which won just two seats in UP in Lok Sabha election 2014, and seven seats in the Assembly election in 2017, hurts the anti-BJP platform or not is for time to tell. We can, however, take a look at the vote shares of each of the main players in UP from the immediate past Lok Sabha and Assembly elections:
Lok Sabha election 2014 in UP: BSP-SP-RLD-Congress combined vote-share 50.5%; BJP-AD 43.6%
In this election, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had swept the state like never before. While the BJP won 71 out of 80 seats, its ally Apna Dal won two. The SP won five and Congress two seats (the two Gandhi strongholds) while the BSP drew a blank. In terms of vote-share though, the differences were less telling. The BJP's vote-share in UP in 2014 was 42.6 per cent while Apna Dal had one per cent. The SP's vote-share was 22.3 per cent and the BSP's 19.8 per cent (total they made 42.1 per cent which is just 0.5 per cent less than the BJP). The Congress's vote-share was 7.5 per cent which if added to the BSP-SP alliance, would see the anti-BJP platform's vote-share rise to 49.6 per cent. The Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh also got no seats and polled 0.9 per cent vote share which if added to the anti-saffron front, would see its total share go beyond 50 per cent at 50.5.
UP Assembly election 2017: BSP-SP-Congress-RLD combine vote share 52.5%; BJP-AD 41%
In 2017, the BJP replicated its overwhelming show in UP again, winning 312 out of 403 seats (40 per cent vote share). The SP was a distant second with 47 seats, BSP third with 19 seats, followed by Apna Dal's nine. The Congress finished with just seven seats and RLD with one. In terms of vote-share, an alliance between the BJP's opponents could see a big change in the scenario. The BSP finished second with 22.4 per cent vote share while the SP got 22 per cent. The Congress got 6.3 per cent (it had an alliance with the SP) while the RLD got 1.8 per cent. A combination of the opponents' vote share would take the figure to 52.5 per cent.