Predicting UP Assembly Election 2017

"The introduction of NOTA and addition of first time voters (i.e. age group between 18 and 25) are tempering all pre-poll surveys like never before" - Jitendra Rajaram


"In 21st century, selling future is the most profitable business. When the middle class population of the world is connected through a palm size gadget, curiosity has become the single largest instinct that triggers sales. From insurance to stem cells everything that gives some future assurance in exchange of the present income is selling.
Speculation is one of many packages of the commodity called ‘future’. From FIFA, Cricket, IPLs, Big Boss or related TV Reality shows to politics; speculations about who is winning is the riddle everyone attempts to solve to make money.
$140Million was spent in betting on who will be the 45th president of USA. An NRI living in USA had lost $28000 (=1409000.00 Rupees) in few minutes when President Donald Trump’s victory appeared certain. Uttar Pradesh assembly election being the most prominent, complex and interesting; everyone is extending ears for whatever rumours or gossip floats.
This triangular contest of UP Assembly Election 2017 among SP-Congress Alliance, BSP and BJP is indeed full of ghost stories. This otherwise quadruple contest condensed to be triangular because of the alliance between grand old party (Congress) and typhoon hit ruling party (Samajwadi Party).
Well! Any result, once declared, can be tracked backward to analyse what factors contributed to it. The other way around is not always correct. But that’s not what everyone is curious to know! You’ve got to tell something now. Predict and add your logic of prediction. That’s all is selling now.
A multiparty election system like the one we have in India is too complex to be functionally dependent on one variable only. Not even the good old caste configuration or the minority’s mass vote bank can be the decisive factor alone. One cannot deny their role in elections but still cannot forecast results on these precursors.
Recent election patterns are showing that we as a voter have been transformed remarkably. The introduction of NOTA and additional first time voters (i.e. age group between 18 and 25) are mitigating all pre-polls. As Edition Research has observed that young voters, women voters and elite voters are less likely to contribute in these surveys. Most of the researchers just presume their input under wrong hypothesis. Also seldom any respondent is vocal about voting NOTA in poll surveys. In few elections of the recent past, votes drawn for NOTA has been more than the votes drawn in favour of many independent contestants. Also, in many seats of Bihar and West Bangla Assembly polls, the winning margins have been thickly smaller than NOTA. In 2015, Bihar Assembly election NOTA vote share was 2.49%, more than the vote share of 15 other important parties contesting. This includes BSP with just 2.21% vote share. Interestingly, this is larger than vote deviation of BJP (up 1.60%) and Congress (Down 1.66%).
Any sample poll survey of the world has never collected more than 5% of the field data to deduce possible results. No wonder why, these 0.05% deviations in vote margins sour all poll predictions. Compare actual results with the poll survey predictions to figure out that a slight galvanization of data will match them significantly.
As said by Dr. Alan Smith, Editor of Financial Times London, “There is huge difference between statistical fact and people perception”. What looks is likely to be truth is not even close to truth. This phrase falls fatal on statistical speculations made when there is a pre-poll alliance. The Rediff Labs, has re-produced a statistical atlas based on the 2012 poll performance, present political sentiments and several special case scenarios. According to this sentiment map, SP-Congress alliance is out performing all other parties contesting. This statement remains intact even if the sentiment maps worst case scenario for SP-Congress alliance. Pre-poll alliance creates lots of illusions in voters’ mind that surveys fail to record.
A lot has already gone unpredictable in UP Assembly election 2017. Blotched BSP central leadership, Demonetization, SP-Congress alliance, BJP’s ticket distribution and concurrence of BMC Municipal Election. These sequential events has jolted the table upside down. While Muslims voting will be different in every seats. It will remain distributed between SP and BSP. Dalit votes will be the most fractured and disfigured but will give equal spikes to BJP and BSP vote curves. Congress has attempted to woo Brahmin votes and if succeeded, it will create unbreakable trio of Brahmin, Muslim, and Yadav favouring the alliance. If Muslims take side with BSP, it will be Thakur, Muslim, and Dalit trio to emerge in flying colours. Baniya votes are relevant to 78 urban seats where it will be distributed among parties giving chances to Baniya candidates and BJP. Except Mahadalits, favouring BSP, no caste based vote bank can be out rightly segmented in favour of anyone contesting.  Demonetization has played havoc in lives of those based on income of migrant labours employed in Mumbai, NCR and other cities of India. This population is talkative and influencer among their community. Farmers are divided based upon their loan burden. Aganwari members are in swing towards BJP because congress sided with SP. Aganwari vote bank was first identified by congress, who had sensitized them about their miserable life in return of hard works done by them for the government. Congress had polarized Aganwari workers against SP but now they’re left orphan in the middle of their struggle. Gas Stove distribution to poor women will add on to the vote share of BJP irrespective of which caste or class they belong.
Just for your curiosity tissue, the CM seat will receive Akhilesh most probably or Mayawati for the least. Your world’s largest political has to pause because no local parties will ever lose their turf to any national parties, may what come. This is what is it had been in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. On top of everything, three W will rule this election like it did every time before i.e. wine, wealth and waivers. In conclusion, those mistake Lucknow for Uttar Pradesh! Maharashtra is not Mumbai, Bangalore is not Karnataka. Coming to Hazaratganj, enjoying Tunde Kebab and filing all your predictions about UP election will not earn you a prestige of research based journalist.  
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http://www.rediff.com/news/report/rediff-labs-the-2017-up-election-sentiment-meter-is-here/20170123.htm

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