The pre-poll alliance scenario seems to be made BJP-led NDA comfortable in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It helps the formation to get 42 per cent vote share, as against 30.4 per cent by Congress-led UPA.
The State of the Nation March 2019 Wave 2 opinion poll conducted by CVoter for IANS shows NDA tally may be pushed to 300 mark seats. This is even though the NDA is expected to get far fewer seats compared to 2014 as indicated by the CVoter opinion poll. The opinion poll is based on a sample survey of 10,280 last week, and a cumulative base of 70,000 respondents since January 1 covering 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
The NDA is banking on the BJP’s narrative on nationalism to deliver the elections for it. While it has spoken of increasing employment opportunities under its watch, alleviation of farm distress and economic growth, nationalism has been its mainstay. The NDA has a distinct advantage over the rival formation in key states in the vote share projections. In Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress is not part of a mahagathbandhan, the NDA is likely to get 35.4 per cent of the vote.
In Bihar, the NDA’s vote share is expected to be 52.6 per cent and in Rajasthan, the NDA is expected to get 50.7 per cent of the vote while in the BJP stronghold of Gujarat, the CVoter opinion poll suggests that the NDA will get 58.2 per cent of the vote share. In Maharashtra, the NDA is expected to have a vote share of 48.1 per cent while in BJP-ruled Haryana, the NDA could get 42.6 per cent of the vote.
However, there are states where the two alliances are not as far apart on vote share and in some the NDA is actually behind. Tamil Nadu is one of such states, Kerala is another. The two sides are neck and neck in Karnataka.
Seat share projections for the NDA, based on pre-poll alliances, shows it will fall short of a House majority with 261 seats — an earlier CVoter opinion poll on March 10 had put this number at 264. The second survey shows that the BJP will get 241 seats on its own. However, the surge from post poll alliances would push it well above the majority mark of 272.
The YSR Congress Party led by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is expected to win 10 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, the Mizo National Front is likely to get one seat, the Biju Janata Dal 10 seats and the TRS 16 seats — a total of 37 seats between them. Added to the pre poll NDA alliance, the BJP-led alliance is expected to have an overall tally of 298 seats.
The poll highlights how in Bihar, the NDA is expected to win 36 seats with the help of allies Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party who together are expected to win 20 seats to the BJP’s 16.
The BJP’s other pre-poll allies are: Maharashtra — Shiv Sena (14 seats); Assam — Bodoland Peoples’ Front (one seat); Punjab — Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), one seat; Tamil Nadu — AIADMK (7 seats): Uttar Pradesh — Apna Dal (Sonelal), one seat. Taken together, these pre-poll allies are expected to give a boost of 47 seats to the ruling alliance in the country.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s politically most important state with 80 Lok Sabha seats, presents an interesting scenario. In the pre poll alliance case, the NDA is expected to get 28 seats to the UPA’s four.