Voting patterns of India's biggest cities: What the data shows


While most Indians live in villages, the most populous metro cities often play a major role in shaping the country's political discourse. So who will they vote for in the Lok Sabha elections? Voting has already taken place in some of these urban centers in the first two phases of the current elections, while the Hyderabad constituencies will go to polls on Monday.

While most Indians live in villages, the most populous metro cities often play a major role in shaping the country's political discourse. So who will they vote for in the Lok Sabha elections? Voting has already taken place in some of these urban centers in the first two phases of the current elections, while the Hyderabad constituencies will go to polls on Monday.

In 30 selected constituencies spread across six metro cities, Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increased its vote share from 18% in 2009 to 32% in 2014 and nearly 39% in 2019. peppermint Analysis shows. On the other hand, Congress's vote share declined from 26% in 2009 to 15% and 18% in the next two elections.

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In 30 selected constituencies spread across six metro cities, Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increased its vote share from 18% in 2009 to 32% in 2014 and nearly 39% in 2019. peppermint Analysis shows. On the other hand, Congress's vote share declined from 26% in 2009 to 15% and 18% in the next two elections.

The analysis is based on constituencies in India's six largest cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, which accounted for about 6% of all registered voters in the 2019 election.

Follow our election data analysis “in chart” And “Simple Facts” Section.

Did metro city constituencies push the election results in a different direction?

In 2009, these metros were slightly less enthusiastic about the Congress than the rest of India: while the party received 28.6% of the vote overall, its share in the metros was 25.9%.

However, in 2014 and 2019, the metros' preference for the winning party (BJP) was almost in line with the overall picture.

The 'None of the Above' option, which was first introduced in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, did not find many takers in these cities, garnering only 0.9% and 1% vote share in 2014 and 2019 respectively. This was roughly in line with the national figure of 1.1% in both of these election years.

Despite this growing affinity towards the BJP, the party's hold in some metros is weak. While the BJP won impressive victories in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai in 2019, it faced a tough fight in cities like Kolkata, where it struggled to win even a single seat in 2019.

In Chennai, where it contested in alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the winner on all three seats was the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

Overall, the BJP won 14 of the 30 metro seats analyzed in 2019, followed by the All India Trinamool Congress and DMK, which won eight and three seats respectively. Currently, one out of 30 seats is vacant.

These urban centers are often seen as hotbeds of progress, but they are struggling with declining voter turnout. Some of them had lower voter participation than national polls in the previous decade.

Hyderabad saw the biggest decline in voting percentage in 2019, when it fell by about 4.8 percentage points since 2014. Voting percentage in Delhi fell from 65.1% to 60.6%. Mumbai was the only metro where voter participation increased from 51.5% to 55.4%.

Among the metro constituencies that have voted in the first two phases of the current Lok Sabha elections, Bengaluru has seen a slight decline in voting percentage, while constituencies in Chennai have seen a significant decline.

List of constituencies included in this analysis: Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Malkajgiri (Hyderabad); Dum Dum, Diamond Harbour, Barasat, Jadavpur, Kolkata South, Kolkata North, Howrah and Serampore (Kolkata); All seven constituencies of Delhi; Mumbai North, Mumbai North West, Mumbai North East, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai South (Mumbai); Chennai North, Chennai South, Chennai Central (Chennai); Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, and Bangalore South (Bengaluru).

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