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2019 General Elections prediction with the help of data analytics and predictive modelling

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2014 General elections was a landmark in Indian democracy when first time ever a non-congress Government single-handedly won the majority. Indians were fed up with a corrupt regime of UPA and that’s why they were looking for a change. Modi gave them hope and people trusted him. He became Prime Minister of India in May 2014. This is the first government in decades which has governed without any corruption charges. No major terrorist attack took place in India in the last 5 years. India grew as an economy. At the moment India is the fastest growing economy in the world. He focused on cleanliness, electrification, rural problems, infrastructure, and transparency the most important – Modi brought efficiency to the system. Schemes like Ujjwala, Swach Bharat, Mudra Loans, Jan Dhan, PMGAY, PMJJBY, Atal pension Yojana, Digital India, Stand up India, Make in India, etc. have brought significant changes in India.

Now India is heading towards another General election in the coming months. The ongoing fight between NDA and UPA has opened up lots of uncertainty in the country. Given the size of the country and of its population, Indian national elections have been the largest electoral exercise in the world. The cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious diversity of the Indian society, make this event a particularly complex one. So its quite difficult to predict the result with better accuracy.

The interpretation of voting is different for everyone on the social spectrum. Because each group interprets the act of voting differently. The group on the lower side of the socio-economic spectrum consider voting as a ‘right’, ‘an instrument to gain access to the state and its resources by those in the middle of that spectrum and ‘civic duty’ by those at the top of this spectrum (Ahuja & chibber 2009:1-9).

I work as a Data Scientist. I am trying to make an attempt to predict the possibilities for 2019 General elections. I want to make it clear that I don’t owe an allegiance to any party. I have tried my level best to carry out this exercise as neutrally as possible.

Below are the seats won by all big parties in India for the last 4 elections.

1999 to 2014 graphical representation

So 2014 is clearly a different election altogether. Modi wave was all over India and that’s why BJP was able to win that many seats on its own. Modi’s wave almost wanes this time. But that doesn’t mean we can rule out Modi. This time he is contesting the election on the name of work and development he has done in last 5 years.

There are some factors which are working in the favors of NDA.

Allies – Except few small parties, almost all the allies of NDA are still intact. Only RSLP and TDP have departed from NDA camp. Which doesn’t seems to be a huge loss if we look at the TDP’s recent performance. But NDA has gained few allies too.

New friends – JDU has come back to the NDA’s side. After the demise of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, there is a huge vacuum in Tamilnadu. BJP is expected to gain some seats and allies too in Tamilnadu in upcoming elections.

No other option – Modi is still the most favorite leader in India when it comes to PM post as per many surveys. Rahul is second. There is no one else who can challenge Modi in terms of presence across India.

Development- Things are looking better if we compare it to 2014. Whether its cleanliness, electrification, poverty, corruption or internal security, etc. NDA has performed well.

There is no anti-incumbency against the current government.

BJP state-wise performance in last four elections

UP, MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka are biggest contributors to BJP’s tally.

Congress state-wise performance in the last four elections

Prediction for 2019

Methodology – To predict seats for 2019 I have used a very simple methodology of sentimental analysis, win prediction for each seat in India, Party’s performance in recent elections, the strength of party and candidates and socioeconomic data.

Seat distribution across India for 2019-

Northern states- JK, HP, UK, UP, HR, PB, DL, and Chandigarh NDA won 106 seats in 2014. This time they are more likely to win 85 seats. UP contributed 71+2 to NDA. But SP and BSP are fighting this election together so BJP can’t repeat the magic of 2014 this time. They will lose 15-18 seats in UP.

Southern states- KL, TN, Telangana, AP, Karnataka, Andaman, Lakshadweep, and Pondicherry NDA won 39 seats with the help of TDP’s 16 seats. But TDP has left NDA but still, NDA is more likely to gain a couple of other allies and there tally in Southern India can increase to 50 this time.

Western states- MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Daman, Dadra Nagar – NDA won 134 seats in 2014. They definitely can’t repeat the same magic this time. They are more likely to win 112 seats from Western India.

Eastern states – Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Sikkim, WB, Orissa, Bihar, and Jharkhand NDA won 57 seats out of 142 last time. TMC and BJD are big parties in this region. But in the last 5 years, BJP has performed exceptionally in all the NE states. Mamta and Patnaik are facing anti-incumbency which is going to work in the favor of BJP. NDA can win around 80 seats from this region if they didn’t lose any allies in the next 2-3 months.

So overall NDA can reach up to 320+ seats.

Congress will improve its tally significantly. 44 in 2014 was the lowest number of seats INC has ever got. But that’s for sure that UPA won’t be able to form government at center in 2019.

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