Why 2019 is like 2004 election

Why 2019 is like 2004 election

Before you read this article on why 2019 is like 2004 election, read our previous analysis on why 2019 is not like 2004

There are two major reasons why 2019 is like 2004 election

Vote Share of the NDA Alliance

In the 1999 election, the NDA alliance had a vote share of 40.7%. In 2004, an almost similar alliance (AIADMK and DMK had switched positions as alliance partners) lost 5% vote share

  • BJP lost 1.6%
  • TDP 0.6%
  • JD (U) 1.1%
  • Trinamool 0.5%
  • Smaller parties – About 1%

The similarity with 2019 is that the alliance contesting this time had almost 40% vote share in 2014 (AIADMK replacing TDP)

Agriculture Growth

While overall agriculture growth in 5 years (Current prices) on an average has been much higher (7.5% versus 4.8%), it camouflages what happened in the years prior to the election

Between 2002 and 2004 Agriculture GDP grew 9.2%. Between 2017 and 2019, Agriculture GVA grew a little higher at 10.4%

Vajpayee of course had to reckon with more than just these two issues, series of droughts, much more united opposition, overall ordinary growth, one Global Crisis and by the time recovery came it was too late.

Why 2019 is like 2004 election
Vajpayee, PM of India 1998-2004, Pic Courtesy: Newsnation

In balance however, the NDA starts with more advantages in 2019 than 2004. Five big ones include –

  • One, Expansion into Odisha & Bengal.
  • Two, economic growth which on an average was higher than 1999-2004
  • Three, A weaker and divided opposition compared to the UPA in 2004.
  • Agriculture is a much smaller part of the economy, urban voters have increased substantially
  • Urban voters are much more mobilised than 2004 leading to relatively healthier turnouts.

In 1999, BJP won 182 seats with just 23.8% of the vote. In 2014, BJP won 282 seats with 31.3% of the vote. Even if one assumes the same negative swing in 2019 as it was in 2004, BJP will end up with a vote share closer to 30% which is likely to deliver much more than the 182 seats it won in 1999. That is one reason why predictors are giving Narendra Modi a 72% chance of returning to power

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