Voters Choose Same Party In Joint Polls For State Assembly & Lok Sabha: Study

Bhubaneswar: How do the voters choose their candidate in states with Assembly and Lok Sabha polls being held simultaneously. According to studies, voters have generally chosen the same party in both state and national polls when they were held simultaneously.

  1. Mumbai-based think tank IDFC institute, in a study, has said there is a 77 per cent chance that the winning political party or alliance will win both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in that state when held simultaneously.
  2. If the elections are held six months apart, however, only 61 per cent of the voters choose the same party.
  3. Odisha along with Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will have simultaneous assembly as Lok Sabha polls. Odisha will vote in four phases — April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
  4. This trend of choosing the same party has been rising since 1999 and not declining, as is widely believed.
  5. Contrary to that popular notion that the average voter is acutely discerning of the difference between voting for their state and national representatives, there is very little actual evidence of it.
  6. The closer the elections are for the centre and state, the more likely voters are to vote for the same party in both. The farther they are, the less likely.
  7. There could be various reasons, primarily despondency with their last electoral choice, that drive voters to vote differently the next time. But the inference that voters deliberately vote differently for the centre and state is a bit trite.
  8. In 2004, simultaneous elections were held in Odisha, Karnataka, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh. The voters largely picked the same party to govern in their respective states and at the Centre.
  9. In 2009, simultaneous national and state elections were held in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim. Again, the people generally voted for the same party in both elections. In Odisha Naveen Patnaik maintained his winning run in Odisha, taking 14 parliamentary and 103 Assembly seats.
  10. For the first time in three decades, a single party won a parliamentary majority in India. Propelled by Narendra Modi, the BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats, with its vote share rising to 31 per cent from 18.8 per cent five years earlier. In Odisha, Patnaik’s decision to go it alone, just as in 2009, paid off handsomely, with his party seeing its vote share jump by 7 per cent and winning all but one of the 21 seats. In the Assembly election, the Biju Janata Dal won 117 of the 147 seats with a vote share of 43.9 per cent.

(With inputs from The Scroll)

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