With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections officially kicking off, the all-important questions keep surfacing – who will form the next government? Which party will lead the nation? Will the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) return to power?
The campaigning has heated up, the guessing game is on, and several surveys are trying to predict the results as counting day – 23 May – nears.
A possibility that has not been ruled out – and is very real – is that of a hung Parliament. Earlier in January, a report by India Today, based on the Mood of the Nation poll, showed that this is a possible outcome, one which will throw the country into a tizzy. The latest predictions are awaited.
So, what is a hung Parliament, and how will it affect the country’s political atmosphere?
The term ‘hung Parliament’ means a Parliament where no party or a coalition that is already in existence is able to gain a simple majority after elections. This means that no political party wins enough seats to secure an overall majority to form the government.
In India, a majority requires a party to win more than 50 percent of seats in Lok Sabha. The total number of seats in the Lower House is 543, with two nominated members, making it 545. So, the ruling party will need to win 50 percent of 543, which is 272, in order to establish a majority in the House.