Bucking low turnout trend, just about

City percentage better than 2009; slight increase from 2013

Bucking low turnout trend, just about

City percentage better than 2009; slight increase from 2013  

Bangaloreans have recorded a moderate turnout for the second time in a year with an average of 53 per cent of the registered voters exercising their franchise.

The final tally of the voter turnout in the City may see a five percentage point increase, according to Election Commission sources.

Despite the initial briskness in polling, with most parts of the City seeing a sizable number of voters making a beeline to the polling stations, the voter turnout dropped between afternoon 1 pm and 5 pm.

This, not withstanding the fact that the sun was not beating down the back. As per the weather bureau temperature in Bangalore, the maximum was 34 degrees Celsius.

The three Bangalore constituencies saw a relative improvement over the turnout in the 2009 parliamentary elections.

While Bangalore North saw a 4.2 percentage point increase from 46.72 in 2009 to 52 in 2014, Bangalore Central saw a whopping 9.45 percentage point hike on Thursday as compared to the 2009 numbers.

The Bangalore Central percentage suggests that in 2014, as much as 55 per cent of the voters turned up to cast their franchise as compared to 44.55 per cent in the previous Lok Sabha elections.

In Bangalore South, the numbers reflect a jump of 9.2 percentage points over the 2009 elections. Bangalore South recorded a 55 per cent turnout, as compared to 44.74 in the 2009 elections. The constituency is likely to see the highest voter turnout in the final tally of the three constituencies, EC sources said.

The Bangalore North constituency has the highest number of voters in the State with 23 lakh enrolled voters. However, the high number of voters does not reflect in the pattern of polling in the constituency, which has seen a dismal performance over the last few elections. Bangalore North has seen the second lowest turnout of voters in the State this elections, with only 52 per cent.

Sceptics believe that despite this improvement, if juxtaposed with the increase in the number of voters enrolled in the City, it is still disappointing to find the same percentage of polling as in the Assembly elections held in 2013. The 2013 Assembly elections saw 53 per cent polling. Of the 28 Assembly segments, 23 are part of the three constituencies in Bangalore City. 

It looked like the City would break the jinx of recording low voter turnouts, given the initial zeal, in mostly saffron strongholds. But the drop in turnout later on pulled the percentage back.

Initial readings of the Bangalore trend suggested that the first two hours saw close to 20 per cent of the voters turning up to vote. These voters, it is suggested, may have been the party faithfuls who did not want to miss the chance of voting their favourite party to power. The trend continued in several Assembly segments which had strong inclination towards one particular party.

In Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Malleswaram and other BJP-held Assembly segments, the voter turnout was not less than 40 per cent on an average by 3 pm. 

In the Congress bastions of Shantinagar, Sarvajnagar, Byatarayanapura and Shivajinagar, the voter turnout was close to 35 per cent. By the end of the day, most polling stations saw a drop in the turnout.

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