The one constituency that matters

One ques­tion that we’re re­peatedly asked at Gramener is “Who’ll win the elec­tion?” While we’re not go­ing to an­swer that out­right, here’s some­thing we un­covered dur­ing this quest.

We were look­ing for a con­stitu­ency that votes for the nation’s win­ning party, i.e. the party that had the largest num­ber of seats. (In India, this has also al­ways been the party that has been in power.) Except for 1977 when the Janata Party won, and 1996, 1998 and 1999 when BJP won, this has al­ways been the Congress.

It turns out that there is one party that votes in ex­actly the same way – Faridabad, in Haryana. The party that won Faridabad, since its in­cep­tion in 1977, has al­ways gone on to win the elec­tions.

So here’s our an­swer to the ques­tion who’ll win the elec­tion: “Pay close at­ten­tion to who wins Faridabad.”

Constituency win history

Since 1996, there have been only 6 oth­er con­stitu­en­cies that have voted for the na­tion­al win­ner, as shown above. Mumbai North, since it’s in­cep­tion in 1996, have voted con­sist­ently for the party that won the National elec­tions. East Delhi has al­ways voted for the win­ner ex­cept in 1991, when they voted for BJP.

While this is not meant to be taken ser­i­ously — if you look hard enough, you’ll find a con­stitu­ency that matches al­most any pat­tern you want. — we’ll def­in­itely be keep­ing a close eye on the polls in these con­stitu­en­cies.

Election analytics

Yesterday, we kicked off the CNN-IBN Microsoft Analytics centre, a web­site visu­ally ana­lys­ing the his­tor­ic­al and up­com­ing Indian elec­tions. It’s hos­ted at ibnlive.in.com/general-elections-2014/analytics/ as well as at bing.com/elections (not to men­tion Gramener’s own gramener.com/election/). You’ll also see this on CNN-IBN’s news chan­nels reg­u­larly over the next few weeks.

It aims to make the past 15 Lok Sabha elec­tions more eas­ily un­der­stand­able for the lay audi­ence, al­low­ing them to ex­plore and dis­cov­er in­sights. This is also a learn­ing ex­per­i­ence for us at CNN-IBN, Microsoft and Gramener, while al­low­ing us to share the in­sights we find.

For ex­ample, we find that only once in the his­tory of Uttar Pradesh has a party swept every single seat in the state – the Janata National Party in 1977. This has nev­er happened in the his­tory of any large state.

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Or, for ex­ample, the curi­ous case of Nalgonda and Belgaum in the 1996 elec­tions, where both con­stitu­en­cies had over 450 can­did­ates stand­ing for elec­tions (in­de­pend­ents, mostly), with many of them re­ceiv­ing no more than a hun­dred votes, per­haps from friends and fam­ily.

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Each con­stitu­ency is shown as a circle. The col­our rep­res­ents the party that won in the 1996. The size is based on the num­ber of can­did­ates. You can clearly see the large purple circle – where JD won in Belgaum and the large red circle – where CPI won Nalgonda.

Over the next few weeks, we hope to add more in­sights to these visu­als, and blog about them as well. You’ll see some of these on TV on CNN-IBN. In the mean­time, please feel free to ex­plore!