Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Voter turnout in 5 charts

File photo for representation.

With the end of polling for the fifth phase on Monday, nearly 78% of India (425 constituencies) has voted in the 2019 general election.

While there is not much one can do but wait for the results, to be declared on counting day (May 23), the only information that we have at the moment is the voter turnout in the five phases of the election concluded this far. But what is it and what does it tell us?

Voter turnout, simply put, is the total number of votes cast in an election. A high voter turnout is generally considered to be a positive sign for the smooth functioning of a democracy and indicates effective public participation and hence this year as well, the SVEEP (Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation) programme of Election Commission of India saw some novel ways such as — human chains, marathons, radio jingles, paragliding activities — to entice and inform the public about their right to vote
 

But for the party in power contesting elections, changes in voter turnouts can perhaps help explain the outcome of the election results.

For instance, a major rise in voter turnout in between election cycles can point to an anti-incumbency factor as it is theorized that people would be voting in large numbers to show their discontent with the ruling government and to boot them out. This has been termed as the ‘voter accountability approach’, according to political scientist Neelanjan Sircar.

Contrarily, a major dip in voter turnout can also indicate voter apathy. However, a major rise in voter turnout can also mean that the ruling party may have better mobilized the the public. This effect has been termed as ‘party organization approach’.  
 

Variations in voter profiles due to demographic differences such as male-female, young-old, rural-urban, Hindu-Non-Hindu thus become important factors for campaigning and election strategies.   

So far, in the five phases of polling that has been concluded, there has been not been a dramatic or statistically significant variation in voter turnout as compared to the 2014 elections. Although several survey’s had predicted thinning margins and even loss of majority for the ruling Narendra Modi led government in the run up to the elections, more recent survey and reports indicated that he may have gotten a boost in numbers, post the Balakot air strikes and another surge after the United Nations designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Here is how India has voted, thus far in the elections:
 

 

In Phase 1, the highest turnout was seen in Union Territory of Lakshadweep (84.96%), followed by the state of West Bengal (83.9%). The lowest turnout was observed in Bihar (53.44%).  
 

In Phase 2, the highest turnout was seen in the state West Bengal (81.7%), followed by Assam (81.2%) and Manipur (81.16%).

In Phase 3, the highest turnout was seen in the state of Assam (85.11% ), followed by West Bengal (81.97). The lowest turnout was observed in Jammu and Kashmir (13.68%).

Note that the Deccan Herald published an editorial titled ‘Kashmir poll turnout worrying’ after Phase 3 numbers were released.
 

In Phase 4, the highest turnout was seen in the state of West Bengal (82.84%) and the lowest turnout was observed in Jammu and Kashmir (10.32%).

In Phase 5, the highest turnout was seen in the state of West Bengal (74.42%) and the lowest turnout was observed in Jammu and Kashmir (17.07%).

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Comments (+)