The Nation of a Billion Votes

It is election month in India and a quote by Dr. Rahat Indori sums it up pretty well.

“सरहदों पर बहुत तनाव है क्या , पता तो करो चुनाव है क्या !”

For English speakers, this means: Is there a lot of tension at the borders? just ask if the elections are on.

This election India has talked about a lot of issues. News channels have talked about Patriotism, Socialism, Religion as well as terrorism.

You might have heard of the tension brewing between India and Pakistan.

This election season has also been marred with a cacophony of insults. Politicians seem to have forgotten basic manners.

Calling the Prime Minister a Chai-Wala(Tea-Seller) and a Chowkidaar(Watchman). And the Prime Minister accepting both titles with grace and putting a Chowkidaar in front of his name on Twitter too. It was pure genius.

Now finally the elections are over and the news channels are releasing the exit polls. This is pretty good data to look at.

And why waste good data?

So, here is an effort to showing some of the election data using some interactive visualizations using Flourish.

Recap of Politics in India

To give a little perspective, in India, the center is held by BJP(Bhartiya Janta Party) and Narendra Modi is the current prime minister of India.

Most of India’s political history has been dominated by INC(Indian National Congress). This is the party of Mahatma Gandhi. INC’s head Rahul Gandhi, who is sometimes called the 50 years old youth, could be the perfect example of dynastic politics.

There are a lot of other local state parties, which I will call as OTH(Others)

For a perspective to the US audience(very broadly): BJP=Right Wing and INC=Left Wing.

India has 28 states and each state has a number of electoral seats. This is the seat distribution as per states.

Let us talk a little about the swing states.

The first state is Uttar Pradesh. A region of caste-based politics. Holding 8o seats out of 543 seats. A state that could swing the whole election. This state is the home of a large coalition named “MahaGatbandhan”(Literally a large coalition). This coalition is created by two heavy-weights — Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. Both have totally opposite views, yet they came together to move the BJP government out of the center.

Then there is the case of West Bengal having 42 seats, which is held by Mamata Banerjee. Sometimes people say that it might be a dictatorship and there have been a lot of violent incidents in this state over the past few days.She might also form a coalition with INC in the later stage to overthrow the current government.

All in all, INC, MahaGatbandhan and all others are out there to overthrow BJP(Modi government)

Exit Polls

Now the elections are over after 7 phases of voting. And today is the exit polls in India.

That means all the news channels will come up with their individual surveys across the 542 Loksabha seats across the 28 states.

Let us not wait further and look at exit poll data of various news channels.

Here it is:

Seems like a sweeping victory for BJP and alliance.

And here is a racing bar chart of the same.

The only thing that doesn’t seem to move is BJP+ and seems like there will be a second term based on this visualization.

The parliament seems to look a little bit orange(BJP Color)though not as much as the last time.

And the swing states. I am going to look at poll data by TimesNow.

While it seems like a defeat for BJP+ in West Bengal, more than 10 seats in WB is actually a lot as per the state politics of left and should be categorized as a win.

In Uttar Pradesh too, BJP+ was able to handle a great opposition in form of Mahagatbandhan and that seems a win too.

Conclusion

The 2019 Mandate seems to be favoring BJP and its allies.

And it is a sweeping answer to people who promote caste-based politics, dynastic rules, and minority appeasement politics.

Here is a tweet showing some frustration by the current CM of West Bengal.

While the data seems to show a lot of promise for BJP+, we still need to see if the predictions by these news channels stand up to the actuals. The Election results will be published by 23 May.

I would also like to highlight Flourish here, which made creating the visualizations a breeze.

Visualizations that were Easy to make, Publish and share.

If you want to learn about best strategies for creating Visualizations, I would like to call out an excellent course about Data Visualization and applied plotting from the University of Michigan which is a part of a pretty good Data Science Specialization with Python in itself. Do check it out

I am going to be writing more visualization posts in the future too. Follow me up at Medium or Subscribe to my blog to be informed about them. As always, I welcome feedback and constructive criticism and can be reached on Twitter @mlwhiz.

PS: I am a BJP Supporter but I have tried to be as objective as possible.

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