Lok Sabha elections 2014 National

‘2009 vote share may be reversed in 2014’

A large-scale attitudinal survey shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has gained significantly across most parts of the country as well as among most social groups. The only exceptions are the Scheduled Tribes and Muslims.

The survey, released on Tuesday, suggests that the NDA and the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) vote share in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections could be reversed in 2014.

The study, an ongoing five-year survey of 75,000 rural and urban households across the country, was conducted between October and December 2013 by the Lok Foundation in partnership with the Centre for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Endowment.

Change in fortunes The researchers found that the UPA’s vote share was down to 23 per cent from 31.5 per cent in 2009, while the NDA’s climbed to 31 from 21.5.

Among upper castes, OBCs and SCs, the NDA was the clear favourite, while among STs and Muslims it was the UPA.

“Our goal was not to predict who is going to win in the election, but to determine who is shifting and why,” CASI director Devesh Kapur said. The data will be put online, he added.

'NDA’s vote share goes up in big States'

The survey also shows that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has gained in every big State except Karnataka, its biggest gains in vote share coming in Bihar, Rajasthan and Haryana.

The report released on Tuesday said the UPA was losing vote share in every State except Karnataka, Bihar and West Bengal, but its gains were small. Preference for the NDA existed in both urban and rural areas, with literates showing sharper preferences for them than illiterates.

CASI director Devesh Kapur cautioned that vote shares did not mean “exact translations into seats.” “The actual seat outcomes will depend on campaigns, candidates and alliances,” he said, reiterating that the timing of the survey was prior to the formation of new alliances, for instance, in Bihar.

Economic growth, corruption and inflation were the top three electoral issues for Hindus and Muslims alike.

Over half of all respondents expressed a preference for a “dynastic candidate,” the researchers found, their reasoning being that they would be better at it since it was their occupation, or that they were more likely to succeed having better exposure to politics.

Voters do demonstrate caste biases even though a direct question revealed that only 36 per cent agreed with this; more probing by researchers revealed a higher share of 57 per cent.

“We see a paradox that while only 3 per cent of voters said that identity politics plays a role, we then find that 57 per cent have a bias,” Mr. Kapur said.

Further, the combined vote share of the NDA and the UPA was still over 50% as it had been for nearly twenty years, the researchers said, contrary to the belief that regionalism was on the rise.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 4:54:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national//article60370375.ece