Phase 4: The challenge before all parties is to offset losses and consolidate positions

If we go by the 2014 vote share projected as 2019 alliance, the challenge before Congress is very clear. In 2014 they won only 2 seats, Chindwada and Baharampur, out of 71 going to poll in phase four. This time, banking on their wins in assembly elections in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, they will try to improve their tally. It will not be possible for them to do this without a significant swing in favor of Congress even if we go by assembly elections performance. In 2018 assembly elections the Congress’s vote share increased by 5.59 percentage points in Rajasthan from 33.71 per cent to 39.03 per cent votes. On the other hand, the BJP’s vote percentage reduced from 46.05 (2013) to 38.8 per cent in 2018, a decline of 7.25 percentage points. But the net difference in so small (0.17 per cent) that it will be a tough challenge to maintain it across the Parliamentary constituencies, particularly when the symptoms are very clear now that the Modi wave is almost intact. In Madhya Pradesh the net vote difference in 2018 assembly is actually in favor of BJP (41.0 per cent as against Congress’s 40.9 percent).

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For BJP, the challenge will be to retain as many seats as possible against the combined vote strength of SP and BSP and gain some seats in Odissa and Bengal.


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