Grand Coalition vs NDA 2019: Who will win the crown?
Our projection of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the event of a Grand coalition vs NDA battle
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At the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP-NDA governed 7 states. Today, they govern 20 states, after TDP withdrew from the NDA. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had secured 5.7% vote share in Tripura. But, in the 2018 Tripura assembly elections, BJP secured 43% votes while its alliance partner IPFT secured 7.5% votes. Similarly, in West Bengal and in Orissa, BJP is rapidly gaining and appears set to become the prime opposition party, pushing other opposition parties lower down the order. In most state elections and other local elections post 2014, BJP-NDA has indeed increased its vote share.
Keeping these results in mind, experts project that the NDA vote share in 2019 is likely to be around 42% to 44% pan India, up from 38.5% in 2014. This implies that it would be even more difficult for a grand coalition to secure victory in 2019. Thus, our experts project that NDA would secure between 325 to 355 seats in 2019, even in the face of a concerted challenge by a grand coalition. This number may increase by 15 to 35 seats if a grand coalition is not formed or if some major opposition parties stay away from the grand coalition.
So, what does this imply for a grand coalition? Should a grand coalition be formed at all?
We believe that a grand coalition should indeed be formed. There are two reasons for this – one, some individual non-NDA parties would definitely benefit from such a coalition and second, it will probably be better for India if such a coalition is indeed formed. Let us understand both these reasons clearly.
Consider a party like the BSP. In the 2014 elections, BSP secured 4.18% of votes nation wide. Still, it ended up with no Lok Sabha seats at all. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, BSP secured 22.2% votes. But, it was able to win only 19 seats out of the 403 assembly seats available. A party like the BSP could be in serious danger of losing credibility if it fights the 2019 elections alone and again fails to win any seat in the Lok Sabha. Such parties would have better chances of winning at least a few Lok Sabha seats if they fought as part of a grand coalition.
Secondly, in the last few years, we have seen many sections of the media and the polity questioning the legitimacy of the union government on the basis that the BJP had won less than one-third of the votes cast. Correspondingly, at times, even violent protests have occurred in several parts of the country on flimsy grounds.
The recent dalit protests, for example, are centered on the allegation that the central government is diluting the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The truth though is completely different – it is the Honourable Supreme Court that took note of the misuse of this act and directed procedural changes in the application of this act. The central government has not changed anything at all – in fact, the government has filed a petition in the court asking that no changes should be made in the application of this act.
Such protests, which often lead to loss of lives and damage to property, are certainly undesirable in any civilized country. Hopefully, after a grand coalition vs NDA battle in 2019, there will be no questions raised about the legitimacy of the union government, irrespective of who wins these elections. Thus, a grand coalition should be better for India in the longer run.
Finally, we must end this article with two disclaimers.
1. We have not projected grand coalition likely seats in this article since at this point in time, we do not know who the constituents of this coalition would be and who would not be part of this coalition. The bulk of NDA constituents are known and hence, it is possible to project their vote shares in 2019.
2. The 2019 elections are still about a year away. In the interim, several important state elections are set to be held. The results of these elections would reveal more about likely vote shares of different parties and groups in 2019. The projection presented here is based on the situation on the ground today. But, keep in mind that a lot can change in one year.
– From the Daily News 60 team