CSDS-Lokniti post-poll survey: Social coalitions shaped the verdict in Karnataka

The election campaign in Karnataka also seems to have made a difference. In the post-poll survey, one-third of the respondents decided their vote on the day of the poll or a few days earlier

Updated - June 09, 2024 12:13 pm IST

Published - June 09, 2024 10:27 am IST

Supporters take Prahlad Joshi on a procession after his victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

Supporters take Prahlad Joshi on a procession after his victory in the Lok Sabha elections. | Photo Credit: Kiran Bakale

Karnataka was a key battleground-State. It was a vital State for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was trying to expand it reach south of the Vindhyas. The importance of Karnataka was seen in the alliance that the BJP stitched up with the Janata Dal (Secular) before the elections. For the Congress, this election was a survival battle. The verdict in the State left no outstanding winner or devastated loser. The BJP experienced a fall in seat share, but stayed above the majority mark. The Congress got a little over one-third of the seats. The Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey indicates a few visible trends in the Karnataka verdict.

Close to two-third (62%) of the respondents were satisfied with the Central government’s performance. Among them, one-third (32%) were quite satisfied with the Central government. Another one-third were dissatisfied. The endorsement of the Central government was not overwhelming but just above average. These numbers are in consonance with the support for the BJP-led alliance and the Congress.

Also read | Election results 2024: How consolidation of dominant castes influenced Lok Sabha results in Karnataka

The election campaign in Karnataka seems to have made a difference. In the post-poll survey, one-third of the respondents decided their vote on the day of the poll or a few days earlier. Merely one-fourth of the respondents decided their vote before the declaration of candidates.

The BJP continued to do well among the upper middle class and the rich. The Congress saw greater support among the lower middle class. The votes of the poor were equally divided between the two parties.

The Congress secured more than half the votes of women. There was a 10% point lead over the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) among women voters. The impact of the party’s guarantees is evident as is the Prajwal Revanna abuse case, especially during phase two of voting. Though the JD(S) had no candidate in this phase, the impact of the controversy seems evident.

Among men, the NDA had a 10% point lead over the Congress. The BJP performed better among the younger voters while the Congress performed better among the older voters.

The social coalitions that the NDA and Congress stitched together impacted their performance. The BJP helped the NDA hold on to the upper caste vote. The BJP has always appealed to the influential Lingayats, a dominant caste in Karnataka. This time, the NDA secured three-fourth of the vote from the Lingayats. The vote of the Vokkaligas, the other dominant caste, was split between the NDA and Congress. The NDA secured over two-third of the non-dominant Other Backward Classes vote. On the other hand, two-third of the Dalit vote (66%) went to the Congress. The Muslim vote was strongly aligned with the Congress (92%) (Table 1). Thus, the social coalitions on both sides shapes the electoral verdict.

Sandeep Shastri is Director-Academics, NITTE Education Trust and the National Coordinator of the Lokniti Network, and Veena Devi is Lokniti-CSDS, State Coordinator for Karnataka

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