Poll Perceptions and Strategies in West Bengal

The results of the recent Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal yield a number of insights. The Bharatiya Janata Party gained spectacularly, the left parties failed miserably, and the Trinamool Congress had to fight every inch of the way. How the main parties campaigned and fared is examined here.

The 2019 Lok Sabha election has become a landmark one in the history of India with many ramifications. Narendra Modi ranks third after Jawaharlal Nehru and Manmohan Singh in retaining power for the second consecutive term as Prime Minister.

In West Bengal the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) secured 43.29% votes. Even though the percentage increased by a little over 3.5% as compared to 39.77% in the 2014 election, the number of seats retained by the TMC has decreased to 22 in 2019 as against 34 in 2014. The question that arises is: Did the total voter turnout for the 2019 elections increase drastically as compared to 2014? Further, the vote share of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has increased to 40.23% with 18 seats in 2019 as compared to 17.02% with two seats in 2014 (Purohit 2019). This has been largely carved out from the vote share of the left that did not secure even a single seat but managed to retain 7.47% of the votes polled. It witnessed a sharp fall from 29.93% in 2014. Another difference this time is that the left, TMC, BJP and Congress contested separately. It is being assumed in the public discourse that the people’s political choice was clearly against rather than for a party.

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Updated On : 14th Jun, 2019

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