BJP confident to face Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka

 The Congress and the JD(S) combine, who are fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together, were initially seen confident to root out BJP in the state, viewing that their combined vote share of 56.3% in 2018 Assembly polls, against the BJP’s 36.2%, they will be in comfortable position.

However, ground realities make the BJP confident to face the Congress-JD(S) combine hoping their internal contradictions will be advantageous to them.

Majority of the JD(S)’s support is concentrated in the southern part of the state. In fact, 82.4% of the total 6,666,307 votes the JD(S) got in the 2018 assembly were concentrated in 14 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The BJP, on the other hand, is a bigger player in the northern regions of the state, where the JD(S) does not have a very significant presence.

This shows that in most of constituencies Congress is main opponent to both JD(S) and BJP, where as there are very few constituencies where these two parties faces each other.

Adding vote shares of the Congress and JD(S) constituency-wise shows that a pre-poll alliance would not have made much difference in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. BJP would have lost two additional seats from its tally of 17 to the alliance, but still win a majority (15 of 28) of seats in the state.

Moreover, as now elections are held to Lok Sabha, the main contenders for Prime Ministership are Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. The popularity of Modi is higher than Rhaul in the state, in almost all surveys. Vast majority of people in the state are seeking Modi as the Prime Minister. Such a sentiment, is bound to alter vote share reflected in Assembly elections.

On the other hand, in the southern parts of the state, JD(S) cadre, who are fighting with Congress decades together, may not easily transfer their votes to Congress and likely to prefer BJP, which is not a major threat to them in the region.

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