ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Praveen RaiSubscribe to RSS - Praveen Rai

A Psephological Nightmare

Electoral outcomes in Uttar Pradesh are difficult to predict, and it has been called “Ulta Pradesh” for this reason. Looking at past predictions of election outcomes in UP, a brief analysis of this election and electoral possibilities are presented.

Fallibility of Opinion Polls in India

There are many challenges in conducting election surveys that measure voter preferences correctly and when the results of these surveys are used to make seat predictions the margin of error can be large. As the record of pre-poll opinion surveys in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections shows, the opinion polls have many weaknesses while attempting to make forecasts in a complex situation. In such a setting, the polls can be used as covert instruments by political parties to make seat predictions and thereby influence the electorate.

Status of Opinion Polls

Election surveys are seen as covert instruments used by political parties for making seat predictions and influencing the electorate in India. It is high time opinion polls take cognizance of the situation to establish their credibility and impartiality. 

Electoral Participation of Women in India: Key Determinants and Barriers

Women's participation in formal politics in India reveals that there has been a marked increase in their voting turnout and election campaigning. While there have been significant gains in these two areas, women continue to be under-represented in legislative bodies both at the national and state level and in political parties. An analysis of the factors influencing participation reveals that these differ for women in elections as voters and their involvement as campaigners. All said and done, positive affirmative action in the form of reservation in legislative bodies, greater accommodation of women in decision-making positions in political parties and in government would go a long way in addressing a serious lacuna in politics in the country.

Haryana: Congress Retains Its Electoral Supremacy

In every election since the creation of Haryana, the ruling party has been defeated, but this time around there has been a reversal of this anti-incumbency trend. State-level factors played a far more important role than national-level issues in deciding the outcome in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. The Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda factor was in large measure responsible for this tilt as the people had not forgotten the ills of the previous O P Chautala government.

Issues in General Election 2009

The issues raised in the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign by the major alliances and the response of voters to them present a mixed picture. The National Election Study 2009 survey indicates that voters did not consider some of the issues highlighted by political parties to have much relevance to them and these had almost no impact on voting decisions. They included, for instance, the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign issues such as the Indo-United States nuclear deal and the Ram Sethu controversy. However, economic concerns, basic services, welfare policies and citizens' security were significant in influencing voting decisions. Surprisingly, the United Progressive Alliance's vote did not suffer much even though the price rise and terrorist attacks during the government's term in office were matters of concern to a majority of the voters.

Chhattisgarh: An Emphatic Win for the BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party's win in Chhattisgarh can be attributed to a positive appraisal by the voting populace of the state government's performance in the state.

Shrinking Political Space for the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha

An inability to command support from varied sections of the electorate, a fragmentation of support among the adivasis and youth disenchantment have together contributed to the decline of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand. This is despite years of mobilisation by the organisation for the cause of a separate state and greater political representation for the marginalised people.

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