Can the United Opposition Breach BJP’s Fortress?

The Opposition’s show of unity in Karnataka proves that they will leave no stone unturned to breach BJP’s fortress

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Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam, Vivek Gupta
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya

The photos and videos of the never-seen-before show of unity by the Opposition at HD Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony in Karnataka's capital on Thursday, 24 May, proved one thing: In the 2019 Lok Sabha battle, the Opposition will leave no stone unturned to breach Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fortress.

Who will lead the united Opposition? Which party will contest how many seats, what will happen in the states where the Congress' primary opposition is not the Bharatiya Janata Party but other regional parties. These unresolved questions remain unanswered. However, one thing is certain, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP will face a united Opposition.


What Impact Will a United Opposition Have on the BJP?

Those who speak in favour of the BJP say that there will be no impact, and their arguments are:

  • In 2014, the BJP contested in only 428 seats and won in 282 seats with a 65 percent strike rate
  • Voter turnout in more than 70 seats in 2014 was 15 percent more as compared to the previous election
  • In 2014, the average difference between votes and winners and runner ups across the country was 15 percent, while the BJP's victory in the seats and the average difference between winners and runner ups was 18 percent. In many seats, the BJP’s winning candidates got more than 50 percent of the votes.

These figures are such that even though there is a slight decrease, there will be no impact on BJP's numbers.


What are the Opposition’s Arguments?

  • In 2014, BJP won in 282 seats. Of these, in only 137 seats, the BJP candidates got more than 50 percent votes. In the remaining 145 seats, the vote share was low.
  • In 2014, BJP got more than 52 percent of votes in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. In both places, there was a huge reduction in BJP's vote share in comparison to the opposition
  • In 2014, in only five states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh – BJP got more than 50 percent votes. Will these states end up with the same figures again?
  • Despite the Modi wave in 2014, the BJP's hold in 240 Lok Sabha seats was low. These seats were in states outside North and West India. Of these 240 seats, BJP won only 39 seats with 17 percent votes.
  • In 2014, BJP needed only 6 lakh votes to win a Lok Sabha seat whereas the Congress needed 24 lakh for the same. Such a huge difference in votes and seats had never been seen before. So even if there is a minor change in 2019, it can change all the equations.

All the arguments point to the fact that the result of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls can’t be predicted yet.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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