NDA-BJP in lead, marginal seats will decide victory margin

NDA-BJP in lead, marginal seats will decide victory margin

New Delhi:  There are 167 marginal seats that will decide the extent of victory for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as deductions from poll arithmetic show a distinct head start to the ruling dispensation, indicating a second-term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the number analysis on the basis of data mined by CVOTER-IANS.

But a three per cent swing against the NDA will restrict its tally to 210, marginally ahead of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s 182 with others getting 151.

Another conclusion that can be drawn from the numbers is that a repeat of 2004, when the NDA lost the elections despite being a favourite, is remote as the Congress is not as strong as it was 15 years ago with its vote share coming down from 28 per cent then to 19.5 per cent now when it goes into the 2019 polls.

The latest version of the CVoter-IANS poll tracker 2019, released on Monday, has a cumulative sample size of 1,05,000 since January 1 and a weekly addition of 33,000 respondents.

Out of the 167 marginal seats, the NDA was in the lead on 57 and the opposition dominated the remaining 110. The opposition tend to lose more because for every single NDA seat in the red zone, the opposition has two.

The NDA stands to gain from even a marginal swing which can result in a disproportionate increase in the number of seats. The reverse holds true for the opposition as even a marginal swing in its favour might not lead to substantial increase in their seat tally.

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is able to generate a swing in the last days of the campaign like seen in the various elections leading up to 2019, it may prove catastrophic for the opposition as the NDA can reclaim at least 102 seats where it was runner-up last time.

The marginal seat dynamics will be at play in Uttar Pradesh where 30 seats are in this zone making it tough to predict if it will be advantage Mahagathbandhan. But it can work in favour of either of the combinations, leaving the field vast open.

In the final six weeks of campaign, a -3 (minus 3) per cent swing away from the BJP will mean loss of 57 seats but +3 (plus 3) per cent swing will mean gain of 102. Going by the last elections, Prime Minister Modi’s aggressive campaigning in the last few days can impact the BJP vote share by two to five per cent.

Even a one per cent swing towards the NDA will take its tally beyond 300 and three per cent swing away from it will lead to its tally coming down to 210. If there is no swing, the NDA will end up with 267 with the UPA getting 142 and others 134.