Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Finally two party rule in UP!

UP election results are out and have surprised most of the political analyst and psephologist covering the state mainly because it is seen as multi-party state hence most of the time it returns fractured verdict which means hung assembly or coalition govt.
But starting 2007 and now 2012, the result confirms the trend of it becoming a two party state with SP and BSP as the front runners while BJP and INC relegated to bit players here is the evidence:

1. Vote share
         SP :   29% (25.4)
         BSP:  26% (30.4)
         BJP:  15%  (17)
         INC:  14% (8.6)

Vote has not change much but in the range of  4-5% away from BSP towards SP and  this has caused huge wins in no of seats for SP from 24% (97) to 55% (224). Basically, floating voters have  ignored INC/BJP and gave their mandate to SP or BSP depending on their perception of governance. 

2. Party Influence: Most of the time political party contest election in almost all seats but their chances of winning them are on far fewer seats, hence to understand the same I have created this table for parties according to their top 2 placings (as an aside in most majority election there is a clause where winning candidate needs to have 50% vote share otherwise a second round with top 2 is held, this is useful in multi-cornered contest where parties with extreme position tend to do better in first past the post system but would lose out in second round, also it avoids the backroom deal making that would prevail otherwise). 

On that basis each party's influence in UP is

Winner  RunnerUp
SP 224 77 301
BSP 80 209 289
BJP 47 55 102
INC 28 31 59
RLD 9 9 18
Others 15 22 37

 This clearly shows that SP and BSP have influence in some 75% seats of UP whereas BJP and INC have the same in less than 25% or less of constituencies. Historically, Cong used to be a major player till early nineties while BJP was influential in nineties while the temple/mosque affair was at its prime, post that UP polity has settled into local/regional mode a la Tamil Nadu where national parties are only on periphery.

What next for National party in UP? INC and BJP are clearly between rock and a hard place and I can see only two solution:

1. To emerge once again as a local player they will need to have creditable leadership at state level who are there 24x7x365 working for the UP from there itself and preferably newer leaders without too much baggage (corruption/castism/communalism) but this will mean that they will have a long wait probably something like 5-10 years. Actually, INC has tried this with mixed results, it was successful in 2009 Loksabha election where they got 18% vote-share translating into 22 MPs but less successful this time. Here my hunch is that if they can groom a local leader for CM then voters will perceive them as a more serious player and they should be able to attract more voters as just being a contender and not also ran.

2. Bihar model, which is to tie up a serious alliance with a regional party where national party is secondary in state but could have more weight-age in national elections. This will ensure that coalition has an advantge (especially if the other party is not in a alliance). I am surprised why BJP did not decide to do this with BSP in this election (SP cannot tie up with BJP!). I am sure we will see this option at play in 2014 national elections.

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