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Decline in poll percentage in Uttarakhand, UP and Goa points to voter apathy

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Elections 2022, Goa 2022, Uttarakhand 2022

The lower polling percentage in the latest phase of the elections could either indicate an advantage for the incumbent or a thumbs down.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

The trend of polling in the 2022 Assembly elections so far has been lower voting as compared to last time, indicating disillusionment of the voters with political parties.

In Uttarakhand, the polling percentage was 64.5 percent, marginally less than last time. In Goa, the difference was of about three percentage points. And for about 113 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, the voting percentage is about two points less as compared to last polls.

While in UP and Uttarakhand, the dip is attributed to colder weather conditions as compared to the 2017 polls, in Goa it indicates people’s disillusionment with the political parties.

If we look at district wise data in Uttarakhand, the plains have voted in much higher numbers as compared to the hills.

In fact some constituencies in plains in Haridwar and Uddam Singh Nagar recorded higher voting than last time. All these constituencies have high farming Muslim and Sikh populations, which are likely to come together this time.

In Goa, the voter turnout was higher in North Goa as compared to other districts in the state in south Goa.

For 55 seats in western UP, the voter turnout of 63 percent was two percentage points less than last time. In the first phase also, voter turnout was less especially in Hindu dominated urban areas. Traditionally, Muslim voting percentage is higher in Uttar Pradesh than other communities.

Politically, lower turnout could be double edged. It could mean that pro-incumbent party voters are not coming out to vote feeling their candidates have no chance to win and don’t want to vote for rival parties. In some states, lower voter turnout has also resulted in return of the  ruling party as anti incumbency voters were not happy with opposition candidates. Lower turnout indicates absence of a decisive wave. 

However, one will have to wait till March 10 to see what this actually means.

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