ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

National Election Study 2009Subscribe to National Election Study 2009

Between Fortuna and Virtu: Explaining the Congress' Ambiguous Victory in 2009

Election 2009 saw a comprehensive triumph for the United Progressive Alliance. But the initial impression of an overwhelming mandate for the Congress needs to be corrected. A close scrutiny of the outcome shows that the Congress "victory" was ambiguous and owed a lot to movements that were not of its making. Shifts in the "third electoral system" worked against the politics of identity and made the quality of government an issue. The Bharatiya Janata Party's inability to hold on to its new social bloc resulted in a depolarisation that benefited the Congress. The victory of the Congress also came about because the voters had a mildly positive image of its governance record and welfare measures. Yet in the end this verdict was more about politics than chance. A shrinking of the National Democratic Alliance, a positive image of the upa government and its leadership gave the ruling coalition a decisive lead before the campaign formally began.

Leadership at the State Level Mattered

A post-poll survey of the National Election Study 2009 reveals that no single national leader managed to either catch the imagination of more than 20% of the respondents or drive voting preferences in the Lok Sabha election of 2009. The limited impact of the leadership factor in this election was not only seen in the lower intensity with which party supporters backed their projected leaders, but also in the perception of those who supported the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party alliances. This points to the states and the leadership therein as crucial factors that determined the poll outcome. Data shows the issues that define and determine voter choice even in a parliamentary election are those relevant and specific to a particular state.

National Election Study 2009: A Methodological Note

National election Study 2009: A methodological Note Lokniti Team We give our special thanks to the over 1,800 investigators whose commitment and skills made such a study possible and the thousands of respondents who spared their valuable time for the interview. Most of the scholars involved in this work are affiliated with colleges, universities and research institutes in different parts of the country. These institutions not only allowed the scholars to work on this project but in many cases, also allowed access to infrastructures of the respective institutions. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from UGC, ICSSR, The Hindu and CNN-IBN. The authors of these papers deserve thanks for their cooperation and patience with the publication delays. the last decade, provided a forum for the Lokniti network to take its findings to a wider audience. The persistence, patience and the work put in by the editorial team at the EPW is sincerely acknowledged. The Data Unit at CSDS has been very efficient and cooperative during all these weeks of the survey work and data analysis. Finally, Vanita Leah Falcao and Rahul Verma at the Lokniti office in Delhi were of great help in the coordination of this special issue. Special thanks to them.

Goa: Return of the North-South Divide

An apparent lack of enthusiasm for either of the two main political parties in Goa was evident in the Lok Sabha elections. This negative opinion of the nature of governance in the state, combined with the lack of a clear-cut differentiation between the parties on issues that dominated in the run-up to the elections ensured that the traditional north-south divide determined the outcome in the two parliamentary constituencies in Goa.

Arunachal: Emergence of Issue-Based Politics?

In Arunachal Pradesh, the past trend of favouring the party heading the state government in the parliamentary elections continued in 2009. One departure was the more intense nature of competition between the major political players.

National Election Study- Statistics (Appendix I, Appendix II, Appendix III)

Appendix I Appendix III All India Lok Sabha Results with Changeover Summary of State-wise Lok Sabha Results 2009 for UPA and NDA State State Name Total Turnout UPA NDA Other Parties Party Seats Seats Seats Vote (%) Vote Code Seats % Cont Won Vote (%) Cont Won Vote (%) Cont Won Vote (%) Contested Won Change 2009 Change

Patterns of Political Participation: Trends and Perspective

If one were to go by the National Election Study 2009, the democratic upsurge and the contentious issues of the 1990s appear to have had their day. Electoral politics in India in the new century has taken a turn towards more stable trends in voter participation. An analysis of data from the post-poll survey of the nes 2009 and its comparison with category-wise figures for the 2004 Lok Sabha poll, in particular, and some earlier ones, in general, reveal that there were no dramatic changes in the participation scenario of the latest election. There have been of course marginal fluctuations in the figures, but the overall picture that emerges is one of limited participation. However this does not, according to the survey, indicate a decline in interest in politics.

Whither Muslim Politics?

Generalisations on the political behaviour of Muslims in India abound though little empirical evidence is offered in support. Two common perceptions are that more of the Muslims vote than any other community, and that they strategically vote en bloc to be able to influence electoral processes and outcomes directly. However, the figures show that nothing is so simple. The Muslim vote in each state is influenced by a complex set of factors that are highly contextual and has to be analysed against this background.

National Election Study- Statistics- (appendix III, IV) Statewise

Appendix IV Lok Sabha Results Changeover from 2004 to 2009 Party Seats SeatsWon Seats Change Vote (%) Vote Change Party Seats SeatsWon Seats Change Vote (%) Vote Change Andhra Pradesh JKNC 3 3 1 19.11 -2.90

Gujarat: BJP Scrapes Through

The repeated re-election of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state assembly election and the repeated refusal of the voters to reject the Congress in the Lok Sabha election indicate the split voting pattern in Gujarat and the regional character of BJP. However, during the Lok Sabha elections 2009, in the absence of any strong wave or emotional mobilisation, "normal politics" came into play. Caste equations and their support to political parties became the key factors deciding the fate of parties.

Assam: A Fractured Verdict

This article attempts to look at the social pattern of voting in Assam by analysing the verdict of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the state. The social pattern reflects a significant transformation in the alignment of social groups displaying a deep-rooted fractured politics with almost every community asserting its identity. Ideology seemed to have taken a back seat as political parties opted for statelevel alliances with the intent of bolstering individual seat tallies.

Alliances and Lessons of Election 2009

Analysing the peculiar nature of alliances in the April-May 2009 Lok Sabha elections, this study points out that a major change was wrought by the Congress opting to abandon its national alliance in favour of state-level agreements. The new delimitation gave the Congress an opportunity to redraw the lines and break out of the corner that it had been boxed into by its coalition partners. Further, unlike 2004, all parties hedged their bets, waiting for post-election negotiations, and both the major groupings announced no common programme. Another notable feature was the high proportion of seats in which a split in votes by a third candidate decided the winner. Added to the prominent role played by many state and regional parties, all this seems to indicate that coalition politics is here to stay.


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