Another article re-hashing the same content. Our first reactions were on the same lines and this blog was the first to suggest such a hypothesis. Since more data has come in, we now say that the Congress is on the way to a landslide win in Punjab. Why? The assumption is that it is not so much the aggregate voter turnout that matters. It is the distribution of voting which favours the Congress. This does not suggest we are right, but that's our reading.What's sure is whatever the result, it will be a landslide for whoever wins!
A day after Punjab witnessed an all-time high voter turnout of over 78.6 per cent for the Assembly elections, the political pundits and experts got down to analysing how it may affect the outcome on March 6.While the fates of the 117 Assembly seats have been sealed, the speculations have begun over the the formation of the next government even as both the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP alliance and the Opposition Congress have kept their fingers crossed. The experts have yet to come up with their verdict on the high turn out - whether it bring a reason a rejoice for the incumbent government or hand over the power to the opposition, something that has been a trend in Punjab.However, a look at the data of the Election Commission on polling percentages after Independence from 1951 to 2007, it has been revealed that Akalis have formed the government if the polling in Assembly elections exceeds 70 per cent which has happened thrice earlier.The state has earlier witnessed over 70 per cent polling in 1967 (71.18 per cent), 1969 (72.27 per cent) and 2007 (75.45 per cent) following which the SAD wrested power.The polling exceeded 65 per cent on six occasions and again the Akalis romped home to victory on four occasions in 1972 (68.63 per cent), 1977 (65.37 per cent), 1985 (67.53 per cent) and 1997 (68.73 per cent) while in remaining two 1972 (68.63 per cent) and 2002 (65.14 per cent) the Congress returned to power.The Congress had wrested power in case of polling being less than 65 per cent as was evident in 1951 (57.85 per cent), 1957 (57.72 per cent), 1962 (63.44 per cent) and 1980 (64.33 per cent).The 1992 poll was boycotted by the Akalis and the Congress had returned to power in the Assembly elections which saw the lowest polling 23.82 per cent.If one goes by the history and the figures, then over 6 per cent increase in the poll percentage has mostly worked against the incumbent government.“It is very difficult to say whether the high voter turnout would help the Opposition or the ruling alliance as this time there was huge enthusiasm among the first time voters,” said a political expert. The young voters can swing the result both ways, he added.However, there are certain groups that feel that though the higher voter turnout is generally considered to go against the incumbent, but in the recent years this trend was reversed in some states such as Bihar. “In Assembly polls held in 2010, Bihar saw an increase of 7 per cent in the voter turnout compared to to the 2005 elections, and the high vote percentage helped the ruling JDU-BJP return to power with a thumping majority,” said VS Jolly, a social worker and retired government officerThe Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi is another such example. Delhi has witnessed voter turnout increase from 49 per cent in 1998 to 63 per cent in 2008. However, it has also worked in favour of the incumbent government.