610,000 Votes: Small Numbers, Big Impact for BJP 

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Paromita Das

GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 10th June, 2024. The BJP got 229 million votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and increased to 235.9 million votes in the subsequent election. Their vote share decreased by 0.76% points, costing them 63 seats, even though they received 6.9 million more votes. This underscores the significance of each and every vote, since the BJP would have received the upper hand with an extra 610,000 votes.

A candidate seeking to win under a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system must have only obtained a greater number of votes than their rivals within a constituency, regardless of the margin. The result of this could be notable variations in the distribution of votes and seats. A disproportionate allocation of seats could arise from, for example, one party winning many seats by small percentages and another losing many seats by similarly thin margins. As a result, even a little variation in the percentage of votes cast can have a significant impact on the seat outcomes, which frequently do not accurately reflect the distribution of votes overall and undermine balanced representation.

Diminished Seat Results

Despite a slim vote advantage, the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system’s winner-take-all structure led to the BJP’s significantly fewer seat gains. No matter how the votes are distributed overall, the candidate who receives the most votes in a constituency wins under FPTP. Thus, in many places where the BJP lost by slim margins, it still did not win any seats. As a result, while the total vote share may seem close, the number of seats may be excessively small. The BJP’s total number of seats is affected by this method, which magnifies small variations in votes into significant discrepancies in legislative representation.

Effects of castes

Though, relative to the total, 610,000 votes may not seem like much, they do matter. It is unlikely that a single caste or community has turned against the BJP because that would lead to a far bigger deficit. Rather, it appears that voter complacency is the primary factor.

Smugness and Pride

Complacency is the second, and perhaps more important, reason. “Abki Bar 400 Par” was the BJP’s campaign slogan from the last elections, which gave party members hope that the party would win handily. Due to their overconfidence, a large number of voters abstained from casting a ballot since they felt it was unnecessary.

Absence of Voters

Despite the fact that the numerical gap is not particularly great, this complacency suggests low voter involvement and participation. Given that voting can affect the results of elections, it is crucial to comprehend the significance of voting. Because voter inactivity directly impacts election outcomes and has the potential to erode democratic trust, it is a fundamental worry for democracy.

A lesson for the BJP: Strategic Decisions and Changes Are Necessary

Instead of becoming complacent, the BJP should take a lesson from these electoral results: ongoing work and participation from voters are essential. It is preferable to put in a lot of effort to earn every vote and include every supporter in the election cycle rather than just hoping to win.

The BJP must significantly alter its electoral strategy in order to prevent such circumstances in the future. The involvement of grassroots workers, who are actively and consistently involved, is the most notable of these. The party must also take decisive action to convert its followers into voters.

Therefore, complacency and low voter turnout are the primary causes of the decline in BJP votes in the most recent Lok Sabha elections. The outcome of this election should serve as a lesson to political parties, telling them to avoid becoming complacent and to keep up their efforts and involvement. Empowering every voter to cast a ballot and treating them as valuable members of society are crucial for the health and prosperity of democracy.

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