Is Low Voter Turnout on Dalal Street's Mind, Affecting India's Next PM Prediction?
Is Low Voter Turnout on Dalal Street's Mind, Affecting India's Next PM Prediction?

As the 18th Lok Sabha election progresses, discussions swirl around low voter turnout alongside political tensions and market worries. Experts debate various factors influencing the outcome, drawing comparisons with previous elections. With four phases completed, attention turns to how reduced turnout might impact the ruling party's chances, with results awaited on June 4, 2024.

Concerns Rise Amid Low Voter Turnout Talks

In the ongoing 18th Lok Sabha election, there's growing talk about voter turnout, stirring nerves on Dalal Street, sparking hope in the opposition led by INDIA, and fueling the Bharatiya Janata Party's ambition for 400 seats. But the question looms: Does the low turnout theory hold weight, and if so, what might it mean for June 4?

Once Assumed Comfort Fades

As recently as April 19, both voters and investors seemed content with the anticipated voter turnout. However, after four phases, the atmosphere has shifted: market confidence has waned, political rhetoric has soured, and even election experts aren't as certain about the results as they were just weeks ago.

Factors Behind Low Turnout

Psephologists attribute the apparent low turnout to several factors, including the heatwave and the absence of a unifying issue (unlike the national security focus in 2019). The Election Commission of India has also voiced concern over the lackluster turnout.

Examining the Numbers

Before delving into the debate on low turnout, let's examine recent voter turnout figures, particularly in 2014 and 2019. In 2014, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initial victory, there was a record turnout of 66.4%. In 2019, amidst a rare pro-incumbency wave, turnout rose to 67.4%.

Comparisons to Past Elections

The first three phases of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections saw turnouts of 66.14%, 66.71%, and 65.68%, respectively. While comparisons are often drawn to 2019, analysts argue that 2014 is a more appropriate benchmark, given the similar circumstances of deciding the government's fate after a decade in power.

Predictions Amidst Decline

Bernstein analysts present three scenarios based on different levels of voter turnout decline and its impact on the ruling party's prospects. While acknowledging the uncertainties, they suggest that even a significant drop in turnout may not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the opposition.

Looking Ahead

As speculation mounts and anticipation builds, all eyes remain on the upcoming phases of the Lok Sabha election and the eventual results on June 4. Whether low voter turnout will indeed reshape India's political landscape remains to be seen.

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