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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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62 assembly constituency seats go to polls in the first phase of UP elections. Adding to the general political tamasha of Opinion Polls and Exit polls, in a clairvoyant mood Offstumped makes some predictions of its own.

 Few observations from Offstumped’s analysis.

– There are a large number of tossup seats with high turnouts but extremely fragmented vote shares between parties splitting roughly 5 ways and victories decided by less than 3% margins.

– Mulayam has gone into this election with a clear gameplan. Sensing anti-incumbency he has effected defections of key players with a track record of winnability irrespective of party affiliation. A majority of these defections come from the BJP. Barring a wave of anger against SP that drowns out these local strongmen, Mulayam may have already purchased insurance against anti-incumbency.

– BJP is strongest in urban seats but the voter turnout has been low in these seats historically, with the SP’s defection strategies unless turnout is 40 or above it is risky days for the BJP.

– Contrast the above trend with consistently SP seats which have a high to very high turnouts. With 100% EVMs and 7 phase polling this election could be a precedent breaker. Mulayam has already given indications today saying the heavy security means only polling agents will vote or rather the Akharas will not have much of an opportunity to rig.

Take these predictions with a pinch salt and throw them out of the window if the turnout exceeds 70% in any constituency.

Aryanagar – historically low turnouts, if turnout exceeds 50% this seat will likely go BJP

Sisamau – historically low turnouts, reliable BJP seat in the past, if turnout exceeds 40% mostly likely will go BJP

Generalgunj – historically moderate turnouts, consistently BJP seat, good turnout should see BJP bag this as well

Kanpur Cantonment – reliable BJP seat neutral to turnouts, should go BJP

Govindnagar – reliable BJP seat in the past, upset by Congress in 2002, good turnout could see this return to BJP

Kalyanpur – reliable BJP seat, neutral to turnouts, should go BJP

Sarsaul – interesting battleground seat, high turnouts unlike the rest, has flip-flopped between SP and BSP, tossup

Ghatampur – another battleground seat, high turnouts, flip-flopped between SP, BSP another tossup

Bhognipur – another battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, flip flopped between SP, BSP, another tossup

Rajpur – true battleground seat, high turnouts, fragmented vote shares in low 20s, small margin victories, definitely a tossup

Sarvankhera – another battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, small margin victories, bounced around BJP, SP and BSP, likely tossup

Chaubepur – battleground seat, high turnouts, small margins, tossup

Bilhaur – battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, small margins flip flopped between SP and BSP, tossup

Derapur – Unique seat, very high turnouts in the 60s, flip-flopped between SP and BJP but with wide margins, could go BJP if flip-flop precedents are anything to go by

Auraiya – battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, highly fragmented vote shares in the 20s, small margin victories, flip flopped all over the political spectrum, definitelt a tossup

Ajitmal – moderate to high turnouts, consistently BSP with small margin, young BSP candidate 33 yrs old contrast with 74 year old BJP candidate, will bet on this staying BSP

Lakhana – moderate to high turnouts, consistently SP with small margin, incumbency could hit SP same candidate for the 4th time, may go BJP this time around

Etawah – moderate turnouts, flip flopped between SP and BJP with reasonable margins, tossup

Jaswantnagar – Mulayam Singh’s brother sitting MLA, Solid SP seat, high turnout high margins for SP, will stay SP

Bharthana – Mulayam Singh’s seat will go SP

Bidhuna – battleground seat, high turnout, flip flopped SP and BSP, vote shares in the 20s, tossup

Hamirpur – BSP seat with good turnouts and good margins, likely stay BSP

Maudaha – BJP seat with good turnouts and reasonable margins, however incumbent Badshah Singh has since switched over to BSP will likely go BSP, unless there is a backlash against criminal Badshah singh

Rath – battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, small margin victories, flip flopped SP, BSP – tossup

Charkhari – battleground seat, moderate turnouts, fragmented vote shares in 20s, tossup

Mahoba – battleground seat, moderate to high turnouts, fragmented vote shares in 20s, tossup

Mehroni – Very high turnouts, battle between 2 personalities Bundela and Devendra singh, Bundela has since returned to congress from BJP, but BJP has fielded Devendra, will likely go Congress

Lalitpur – battleground, high turnout, low vote share, tossup

Jhansi – should go BJP this time unless BSP’s brahmin candidate springs a surprise

Babina – battleground, high turnout low vote share, tossup

Mauranipur – battleground, high turnout low vote share, tossup

Madhogarh – battleground, high turnout, BSP-BJP flip-flop, tossup

 

Bhongaon – high turnout, reliably SP, stay SP

Kishni – high turnout, reliably SP, stay SP

Karhal – moderate to high turnout, reliably SP, lost to BJP by micro margin, but incumbent has switched over to SP, will likely go SP

Shikhohabad – high turnouts, flip flopped BJP-SP with wide margins, solid Yadav seat, BJP has given this to JD-U, will likely stay SP

Jasrana – high turnouts, reliably SP seat, BJP gave it to JD-U, will likely stay SP

Ghiror – high turnouts, reliably SP seat lost to BSP by micro margin, will likely stay SP

Mainpuri – high turnouts, battleground with low vote shares, flip flopped SP-BJP, tossup

Aliganj – very high turnouts, reliably SP seat, stay SP

Patiali – very high turnouts, battleground seat, flip flopped all over the map, fragmented vote shares in 20s, tossup

Sakit – high turnouts, SP with wide margin, likely SP

Soron – high turnouts, likely BJP

Kasganj – battleground seat, high turnout, low vote share, tossup

Etah – solid SP seat high turnouts, stay SP

Nidhauli Kalan – solid SP seat, stay SP

Jalesar – high turnouts, flip flopped between BJP and SP, good margins, turnout close to 60% may favor SP anything lower than 50 will aid the BJP

Firozabad – very high turnouts, solidly Muslim seat, likely go SP

Bah – moderate to high turnouts, consistently BJP, stay BJP

Fatehabad – high turnouts, has been a BJP seat however incumbent strongman Chotelal Verma has crossed over to SP, likely BJP loss to SP

Tundla – moderate turnouts, has flipped between BJP and SP with 3% margins, likely SP as BJP has lost the incumbent strongman to RLD likely splitting the vote

Etmadpur – Low to moderate turnouts, has bounced all over the political map as local strongmen changed parties, this could go SP as former strongmen split anti-SP vote

Dayalbagh – moderate to high turnouts, battleground seat, vote shares in 20s, likely tossup could be a VP Singh Jan Morcha win

Agra Cantonment – Low to moderate vote turnouts, favored BJP in the past, SP has snared the BSP incumbent, if turnout is above 40 likely BJP else a tossup

Agra East – perfect example of Urban BJP seat, turnouts in the 30s, consistently BJP, likely stay BJP

Agra West – another solid BJP seat same trends as Agra East, stay BJP 

Kheragarh – battleground seat, moderate to high turnout, vote shares in the 20s, tossup

Fatehpur Sikri – High turnouts, bounced around the political map, seems to favor one community irrespective of paty affiliation, tossup with Congress and RLD splitting votes 

Offstumped Bottomline: Phase 1 seems to be a SP, BJP fight with a large number of tossups that favored BSP with micro margins. The battleground is wide open. The extremely fragmented vote shares in these tossup seats with parties splitting the vote roughly 5 ways and victories decided by less than 3% margins reminds one of the recent Assam elections. Even a small vote consolidation in favor of a community or caste could tilt the balance.

With the BJP landslide in Delhi Municipal Polls, bad news for Rahul and the Congress.

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