Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal

Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal

What are the Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal? By Mohal Joshi

After a quarter century of coalition politics, in 2014 Lok Sabha elections a single party had won outright majority on its own . BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) swept the Hindi heartland winning 90+% of seats in many of these northern & western states. In theory, BJP can repeat its performance from 2014 but there is limited upside. Having maxed out in most of these states the likely way is down. BJP & its president Amit Shah have been on a relentless campaign to expand BJP’s presence in other parts of the country. This is to help BJP overcome the losses from BJP strongholds by making inroads into Greenfield states where they had very little presence prior to 2014. A couple of these major states where BJP is eyeing big gains in 2019 are Odisha & West Bengal.

Today I attempt to bring out Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal considering a variety of scenarios

Seat Predictions for Odisha

Odisha has been ruled uninterrupted by BJD (Biju Janata Dal) since 2000. It has been led by Naveen Patnaik who is the incumbent CM. BJD was in an alliance with BJP both in the original NDA government led by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee & in the state. However in 2009, BJD parted ways with BJP & has ruled the state by itself since then.  During the 2014 elections BJD won 20/21 seats while BJP won 1 seat. INC (Indian National Congress) in spite of getting more votes than BJP drew a blank.

Lok Sabha 2014 Summary for Odisha
2014 Election Results for Bengal

The Municipal Election in Odisha

Since then BJP has gained in strength in the state mostly at the expense of INC. This was seen during the municipal polls in 2017 where BJP had massively improved their showing versus the previous election cycle (33 to 306 seats & 18% to 33% vote share). Political Commentator & analyst Amitabh Tiwari in his piece on Odisha last year had extrapolated results from these municipal polls to assembly seats giving the BJP just under 40% of the seats. If one extrapolates it further in terms of Lok Sabah seats BJP can net a haul of ~8-9 seats. This is close to what many pre-election opinion polls have indicated for BJP.

Opinion Polls in Odisha

This time around BJP should be able to increase its vote share % well into the mid 30’s+% range at the expense of INC. This is something which some of the pre polling opinion polls have also noted for Odisha. INC has been a constantly declining force (down to just 18% in 2017 polls) & should poll around 15% of the overall vote this time around. Keeping the Others vote at constant 7% from 2014 (to simplify calculations), that leaves the (100%-15%-7%) = 78% vote share up for grabs between the 2 major contestants: BJD & BJP.

Keeping all this in mind I have taken 5 different scenarios in terms of vote share for both BJD & BJP & tried to simulate on a per seat basis how many seats will each of the 2 main contestants win under each of these scenarios.

NOTE: I have used the 2014 Lok Sabha seat level data as a base. For each scenario I have applied on a seat level basis a swing% which results in the desired state level vote share% for each party. Now please keep in mind that here a uniform swing% has been applied for all seats to keep the exercise simple. But in reality we know that local & sub regional factors produce a different amount of swings in each seat across big states like these ones.

Scenario Summary for Odisha

Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal
SCENARIO 1: BJD 43% BJP 35% INC 15%

With 43% vote share (just a small reduction from 44.8% in 2014) BJD wins a majority 15/21 seats. BJP while increasing its vote share% from ~22% in 2014 to 35% now would better its 2014 tally from 1 to 6 seats.

SCENARIO 2: BJD 41% BJP 37% INC 15%

Even with a drop off of ~3.8% from 2014, BJD with 41% vote share still wins a majority 13/21 seats. BJP while increasing its vote share% from ~22% in 2014 to 37% would increase its 2014 tally from 1 to 8 seats.

SCENARIO 3: BJD 39% BJP 39% INC 15%

With equal vote share of 39% for BJD & BJP both sides will win fairly equal no. of seats. BJD will win 11 while BJP will win 10 seats.

SCENARIO 4: BJD 37% BJP 41% INC 15%

If BJP can garner greater vote share of 41% vs 37% for BJD, BJP will win more seats than BJD (13 seats for BJP vs 8 seats for BJD).

SCENARIO 5: BJD 35% BJP 43% INC 15%

Somehow if BJP can turn the tables on BJD & gain a massive + 8% vote share delta with BJD (BJP 43% BJD 35%) it would result in a landslide sweep for BJP in the state winning 15/21 seats while BJD would just win a paltry 6 seats.

Read other predictions for Odisha

Trade Odisha Prediction BJP > 10 Seats

See latest Predictions in Odisha

Seat Predictions for BENGAL

After ending the 34 year rule of Left CPI (M) Mamata Banerjee’s TMC (Trinamool Congress Party) has consolidated its grip over West Bengal in the past 8 years. Both the CPI(M) which were the dominant singular pole in West Bengal politics & INC have been on a slow terminal decline creating an opportunity for BJP to become the main opposition party in the state.

During the 2014 elections TMC won a lion’s share of 34/42 seats in West Bengal. BJP & Left [Left is referring to a coalition of various Left parties: CPI(M)+CPI+AIFB+RSP] won 2 seats each while Congress won 4 seats in its strongholds. This time around many have reported that a huge churn is happening in West Bengal politics. The sense from the ground is that a shift is happening towards the BJP. The fact that BJP has never been one of the dominant players in West Bengal politics makes the determination of what happens in 2019 a bit of a mystery. Whether BJP simply makes a good run in West Bengal which doesn’t translate into many seats & allowing TMC to retain control or if BJP can break into the TMC citadel by winning a large chunk of seats remains to the seen.

Lok Sabha 2014 Summary for Bengal
2014 Election Results for Bengal

Opinion Polls in Bengal

Multiple opinion polls have shown that the Left vote would reduce by half whilst the INC vote would mostly hold steady. BJP should be able to increase its vote share % well into the mid 30’s+% range at the expense of Left & some votes from TMC. It is likely that the Left and Cong vote share together stay steady at around 25%. This will make the election in West Bengal a two horse race between TMC & BJP. Keeping the Others constant from 2014 (to simplify calculations) leaves (100%-25%-5%) = 70% vote share up for grabs between the 2 major contestants: TMC & BJP.

Keeping all this in mind I have taken 5 different scenarios in terms of vote share for both TMC & BJP & tried to simulate on a per seat basis how many seats will each of the 2 main contestants win under each of these scenarios.

NOTE: I have used the 2014 Lok Sabha seat level data as a base. For each scenario I have applied on a seat level basis a swing% which results in the desired state level vote share% for each party. Now please keep in mind that here a uniform swing% has been applied for all seats to keep the exercise simple. But in reality we know that local & sub regional factors produce a different amount of swings in each seat across big states like these ones. 

Scenario Summary for Bengal

Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal
SCENARIO 1: TMC 39% BJP 31% Left+INC 25%

With 39% vote share (i.e. similar to 2014 when they got 39.3% vote share %) TMC sweeps West Bengal winning 30/42 seats. BJP while increasing its vote share% from ~17% in 2014 to 31% now betters its 2014 tally from 2 to 8 seats.

SCENARIO 2: TMC 37% BJP 33% Left+INC 25%

Even with a drop off of ~2.3% from 2014, TMC with 37% vote share still wins 26/42 seats. BJP while increasing its vote share% from ~22% in 2014 to 33% would improve its 2014 tally from 2 to 12 seats.

SCENARIO 3: TMC 35% BJP 35% Left+INC 25%

Crowd Wisdom (a crowd Sourcing based predictions platform) run by ex-political consultant, Subhash Chandra recently outlined the possibility of both TMC & BJP ending up with the same vote share %. With equal vote share of 35% for TMC & BJP, BJP will win 21/42 seats while TMC would win 17 seats.

SCENARIO 4: TMC 33% BJP 37% Left+INC 25%

Suppose BJP ends with a greater vote share of 41% (vs 33% for TMC) it would result in BJP winning a huge chunk of 24 seats while TMC would just win 14 seats.

SCENARIO 5: TMC 31% BJP 39% Left+INC 25%

If BJP can turn the tables on TMC vs last time & end up with a massive 39% vote share% (vs 31% for TMC i.e.+8% vote share delta with TMC) then in a sort of role reversal from last election BJP sweeps the state with 30 seats while TMC ends with just 8 seats.

Read other predictions for Bengal

Trade Bengal Predictions here

Predict Bengal election here – BJP, TMC

CONCLUSIONS

In these high profile battles between the regional incumbent parties and the challenger BJP in these 2 states a whole host of factors come into play

  • Several reports of voter intimidation & booth capturing
  • Local & sub regional factors which produce a different amount of swings in each seat across big states like West Bengal & Odisha
  • Presence of third and fourth players/parties with significant vote share %, etc. make any exact Seat predictions for Odisha and Bengal difficult

Therefore, this exercise of simulating these various scenarios is not to provide an exact prediction like how many pollsters do with their surveys on how many seats each party can win in those states. Rather, it is to rather give a rough ballpark seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal considering a variety of scenarios

Today, there are a host of seat predictions for Odisha and Bengal on how the results might turn out in these two pivotal eastern states which will no doubt have a significant bearing on the overall national picture. Without doubt that if BJP ends up losing significantly in the Hindi Belt, Odisha & West Bengal will be two of the most closely watched states on May 23rd.

CrowdWisdom360

CrowdWisdom360 Admin

2 thoughts on “Seat Predictions for Odisha and Bengal

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: