2014 vs 2019: Only 1% Dip in Voter Turnout After Two Phases Of Polling
Srinagar, which in 2014 witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent, saw an even reduced turnout with only 14 per cent.
The second phase of polling, covering 95 Lok Sabha constituencies across 12 states, saw an overall voter turnout of 68.98 per cent, according to data available on the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app at 12pm on April 19th.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the average turnout was 69.5 per cent for the same seats. This indicates that there is only a little dip of 0.5 per cent and not much to separate the voting pattern in five years.
“We shouldn’t be looking at the macro picture but on a state basis because the political competition is very different in different states,” Sanjay Kumar, Director at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, said.
Puducherry saw a high voter turnout of 78.17 per cent, but it was about 4 per cent less than in 2014. Similarly, the three constituencies of West Bengal that went to polls on April 18th saw a 2 per cent less turnout than 81.5 per cent recorded in 2014.
Assam ( five seats) recorded an average turnout of 78.3 per cent, Manipur (one seat) 81 per cent, Tamil Nadu (36 seats) 71.87 per cent—polling was suspended Cuddalore and Vellore in the second phase—Odisha (five seats) 71.65 per cent, Karnataka (14 seats) 68.56 per cent, Maharashtra (10 seats) 62.47 per cent, and Uttar Pradesh (eight seats) 62.05 per cent.
The only state with low-to-moderate turnout was Jammu and Kashmir with 45.64 per cent. Srinagar, which in 2014 witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent, saw an even reduced turnout with only 14 per cent.
“If the BJP is the ruling party of the state and if the turnout has gone down, it’s not a good sign for the BJP since their voters are more enthusiastic than compared with any other party. If the turnout has gone up, it’s a good sign for the BJP. And if the turnout is more or less the same, I’d see it as a tough competition going on in the ground,” Kumar added.
The EC had put the overall turnout for the first phase at 69.4 per cent, a slight drop from 70.6 per cent for the same 91 seats that voted in 2014.