1. No Proof Required: Battle for Delhi – Advantage BJP

No Proof Required: Battle for Delhi – Advantage BJP

If the AAP is not able to get more than 20 seats, will that be the beginning of the end for the AAP?

By: | Updated: January 25, 2015 4:12 PM

Thirteen months and what do you get? As far as Delhi is concerned, three exciting and unpredictable elections with the decision of the third scheduled for February 10. The excitement and unpredictability is all because of the presence of the new and different political party—the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Every opinion poll in December 2013 had the AAP barely making its presence felt. It ended up second, with 28 out of 70 seats, and even formed the government before unceremoniously kicking itself out. In the Lok Sabha elections, the AAP’s expectations were high, not only for Delhi, but also the rest of India. We had some expert commentators even believing that the AAP would be part of the national government. They ended up with 4 Lok Sabha (LS) seats nationally (all in Punjab), and none in Delhi.

An assembly segment break-up of the Delhi LS election reveals that the BJP won 60 of the 70 assembly segments, and the AAP won 10. Opinion polls in January, to date, show a huge bounceback for the AAP—a 5% increase in their vote-share compared to December 2013—of 35%versus 30%. The BJP also shows a near identical increase in vote-share, from 33% to 39%. In terms of seats, the prediction is for a near-dead-heat between the two, with the BJP marginally ahead, 35 to 31. Even a dead cat bounces so why should we grudge Congress this chance of spoiling the BJP party. Given forecast errors, another hung Assembly in February 2015 cannot be ruled out.

Only brave souls, and statisticians, can even attempt to forecast this election. It has been further jumbled up with the AAP defections, and with the announcement of Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP. Does that mean that an uncertain election is now certain for the BJP ? As we await opinion polls, exit polls, and the final result, herewith some statistical calculations—from a brave forecaster!

Delhi-rule

The election outcome is forecast based on two separate statistical methods. The first is to look at history for parallel events. The first cut of history is to look at all assembly elections post 1991 which followed a national election within 12 months. The second cut of the data is to look at only those parties who obtained at least 20% of the vote in both the LS and the subsequent assembly election. The results are revealing. Only 9 out of 26 elections show an increase in vote-share for any party in the assembly as compared to the previous LS election; and just three show an increase in vote-share of more than 1.3%! One of these outliers was in Delhi itself; in 1998, the Congress increased its vote-share by 5.1% over the Lok Sabha election earlier the same year. The other two outliers were in Punjab and Haryana, for the Akali Dal (8.9% increase in 1997) and INLD (4.3 percentage point increase in 2005). Average for all the 26 elections is minus 3%.

Opinion polls are forecasting a 2% gain for the AAP over its LS share. The opinion poll loss for the BJP, at 8%, is nearly three times the average loss in the 26 comparable elections since 1991. As they say in statistics-land, the odds are heavily against both the AAP gaining 2 percentage points and the BJP losing such a large vote-share. But this is a special election in that—a third party, the Congress, is in danger of falling off the map. So its vote-share will likely go to the two parties, the BJP and the AAP, with the latter likely to get more. But it takes a stretch of imagination, and calculation, to say that the net loss for the BJP over the LS election would be 8% and a net gain for the AAP of 2%.

The second method is to predict “reasonable” swings in vote-shares for the February 2015 elections over the observed December 2013 Delhi polls. Five different experiments were conducted with the AAP median gain in vote-share of 2 percentage points over the 2013 assembly polls. For the BJP, the median “experiment” vote-share is 40%, 7 percentage points less than the Lok Sabha election. For the Congress, the median vote-share change over a disastrous LS election is a gain of 5 percentage points.

Details of all the five experiments are provided and the results converge on the following. First, it seems highly unlikely that Congress would get much more than 5 seats, a fall of 3 seats from their already low 2013 total. The AAP is unlikely to gain much more than 21 seats—four of the five reasonable experiments converge on 21 seats, and only one scenario yields 28 seats for AAP. The BJP should easily win this election with a median prediction of 44 seats. A hung assembly or an AAP victory would be a Black Swan or a “man bites dog” event.

As I said at the beginning, the motivation for this analysis was to have a bit of fun, and to see how likely were the opinion poll predictions of a close contest. No matter how one slices the data, the initial set of opinion polls are likely to be way off the mark. If the AAP succeeds in getting around 31 seats, and BJP only a few seats more, I will be off the mark. Let the fun; sorry, games; sorry, elections begin.

The author is chairman, Oxus Investments, and a senior advisor to Zyfin, a leading financial information company. Twitter: @surjitbhalla

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    Ajatshatru Patliputra
    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:09 pm
    BJP WILL WIN 52 SEATS AAP 13 AND CONGRESS 5
    Reply
    1. A
      Ajatshatru Patliputra
      Jan 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm
      BJP WIN KIRAN CM
      Reply
      1. A
        Ajatshatru Patliputra
        Jan 26, 2015 at 11:09 pm
        bjp will win 52 seats aap 13 seats and aap BAAP CONGRESS 5
        Reply
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          Amit Kumar
          Jan 25, 2015 at 3:23 am
          Both the methods you use are biased towards BJP. Things are very different on the ground. This is not your usual election.
          Reply
          1. A
            Amit Kumar
            Jan 25, 2015 at 3:23 am
            Both the methods you use are biased towards BJP. Things are very different on the ground. This is not your usual election.
            Reply
            1. A
              Amit Kumar
              Jan 25, 2015 at 3:21 am
              This is not a usual "statistical" election. Both the methods are biased towards BJP, and the actual results will be far from these.
              Reply
              1. M
                Mahender Goriganti
                Jan 26, 2015 at 2:07 am
                I hope it will turnout that way, peace and development for Delhi.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Mahender Goriganti
                  Jan 26, 2015 at 2:03 am
                  It is a typical Indian election, some falling others raising, in this case clearly BJP
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    RR
                    Jan 25, 2015 at 8:56 am
                    The only advantage for BJP would be that if people of Delhi decide that it would be better to elect the party that rules the centre to ensure that the centre vs state spat doesn't impact the Delhities. Given that Aravind has not proved his admin skills despite having the good opportunity and strong central Govt, BJP may have edge over AAP.
                    Reply
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                      Ravinder Kumar
                      Jan 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm
                      Author of this article is a poor analyst, known to be supporter of BJP with all illogical arguments. His arguments to make his point in this article are as silly as his statements in TV debates/discussions. I hope he eats his words on 10th Feb.,2015 just as he had to do so on 8th December,2013. Let us understand that he has only one vote which he can cast in favour of BJP. He cannot do anything more.
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Sagar
                        Jan 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm
                        This khujliwall is nothing but another paap of the romman mattaji sonniya whose only intention is to give back doorr entry to their common dammadd robberr vaddra to swindle the aam aadmi of the cappitall as they did in hariana and,, rajjasthan with help of hoodda and gahhlot..
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          san
                          Jan 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm
                          I really dont understand Hindus supporting a Minority Bootlicker like Kejriwal or AAP... None of the muslims would vote for BJP - and here are so called Hindus who dont hesitate to stab their motherland at the back... Look at Kashmir - the only Muslim majority state in India - Hindus were THROWN OUT... Do you want it at Delhi ? Kejriwal justifies terrrorism and wants to give away Kashmir... What the !! Did not attend Republic day parade this year and tried to scuttle it off last year... Do you really need to vote for such a guy ?
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            srbh
                            Jan 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm
                            Go to school, get a good job, think before buying something, save money, buy a house with loan, pay its installments all life and die … This is how most of us live, while there are some super rich people who have mind boggling sums of money. They earn money in such figures (millions and billions of dollars….) which are impossible to apprehend. A website which will give you an idea how rich actually you are when compared to a super-rich…. :wethepoor/
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              srbh
                              Jan 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm
                              Go to school, get a good job, think before buying something, save money, buy a house with loan, pay its installments all life and die … This is how most of us live, while there are some super rich people who have mind boggling sums of money. They earn money in such figures (millions and billions of dollars….) which are impossible to apprehend. A website which will give you an idea how rich actually you are when compared to a super-rich…. :wethepoor/
                              Reply
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