Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Low Voter Turnout Triggers Uncertainty

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Low Voter Turnout Triggers Uncertainty

In 2009, the voter turnout stood at 49.09 per cent, with BJP clinching only two seats Aonla and Agra.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 09:34 AM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

The third phase of the LS election in Uttar Pradesh witnessed a voter turnout of 57.34 per cent across 10 constituencies, marking a decrease of 3.92 per cent compared to 2019 election. Historically, lower voter participation has signalled challenges for the ruling party, analysts are grappling with the implications of the trend.

Difficult to decode

“It is difficult to read voters’ minds if the turnout is low. In scenarios where the voting percentage is low by up to 5 per cent, it suggests a lack of momentum for change, and local issues play a pivotal role, sometimes leading to surprising outcomes. Kuch bhi ho sakta hai (anything can happen),” remarked Nomita P Kumar from the Giri Institute of Development Studies. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Rajesh N Bajpai, a political analyst, quoted SBI Research and stated, “We are discussing low voting percentages, whereas SBI research claims over 8 lakh more people exercised their right to franchise in the first two phases of the election compared to 2019.”

Vote-wise stats

In 2009, the voter turnout stood at 49.09 per cent, with BJP clinching only two seats Aonla and Agra. The 2014 Modi wave witnessed an 11.76 per cent surge in turnout to 60.85 per cent, propelling BJP to victory in seven of ten seats. In 2019, despite a marginal uptick of 0.41 per cent in turnout, BJP secured an additional seat compared to 2014, capturing eight seats. Notably, the SP-BSP alliance failed to make significant inroads, with SP winning only Mainpuri and BSP clinching Sambhal.

Phase-wise, the second phase recorded a turnout of 54.85 per cent, down by 8.83 per cent from 2019, while Phase 1 witnessed an 8.61 per cent drop, registering a 60.25 per cent turnout. Commenting on the recent figures, experts attribute the decline to various factors, including scorching temperatures and decreased mobilisation efforts. They suggest BJP faces stiff competition from the INDIA bloc. “Signals are confusing. Anything can happen. The result will depend on the mobilisation capability of the organisation. The political party that can mobilise its voters and bring them to the polling booths will emerge victorious,” said Rajendra Kumar, a senior journalist from Rohilkhand.

Agra recorded the lowest 53.99 per cent turnout. Concerns arise for BJP as voting decreased by 7.71 per cent compared to 2019. Sambhal witnessed the highest turnout at 62.81 per cent, albeit a 5 per cent dip from 2019. In Badaun, a 5 per cent rise in turnout compared to 2019 raises stakes for BJP, while Bareilly shows BJP’s dominance despite a 3 per cent fall. BJP stronghold Aonla saw 3 per cent dip, yet experts predict a favourable result.

Hathras dynamics

Hathras’ voting dynamics pose a challenge despite BJP’s past victories, while Fatehpur Sikri reflects BJP’s stronghold. Mainpuri’s consistent trends hint at a marginal impact on the outcome due to turnout changes. Etah’s drop in turnout opens up the possibility of a competitive race, while Firozabad presents another battleground seat amid shifting voter dynamics. “These shifting voter dynamics set the stage for a closely watched battle in UP, where every percentage point could sway the final outcome,” Kumar concludes.

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