Insti and the Lok Sabha Elections

Credit: Yogesh Mhatre/Flickr

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw a very high proportion of youth among the voting population. Given the moniker of game-changers, their enthusiasm fueled, in part, the dramatic increase in voter turnout. Being one of the most important higher education centres in the country, the IITs may be considered representative of the viewpoint of the nation’s youth to a good extent. T5E’s Parliamentary Voting Trends Survey attempts to shed some light on how IIT-M decided to vote in the 2014 General Elections.

Not surprisingly, a very high majority of the respondents intended to vote. Interestingly, of those that did not intend to vote, a quarter of them found the process too tedious. This is despite the Election Commission striving to ease the process of voter registration by moving part of the process online.

As was the case nationally, a clear majority of the voters from IIT-M also decided to root for Narendra Modi’s BJP. A very high percentage, larger than the percentage of those voting for the NDA, also believed strongly in the possibility of the BJP-led NDA coalition coming to power. This probably means that those voting for other parties also perceived the strong pro-BJP (and pro-Modi) wave nationally. What is astonishing, though, is how very few of those voting in Chennai were rooting for Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, since she eventually managed to sweep the city clean, winning all 3 Chennai constituencies. That the AIADMK’s tally of 37 out of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu is not a coincidence is reflected in the fact that close to a third of those voting outside Chennai were rooting for Jayalalithaa.

Much like the rest of India, there was an unambiguously high amount of support for Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Arvind Kejriwal managed a respectable second while Rahul Gandhi, much like elsewhere, was a no-show. The NDA and the AAP were the top two choices for both those voting in Chennai and those voting from outside.

Disturbingly, less than half of the respondents assign relevance to the suitability of their constituency candidate. This can be an effect of the elections being fought out on national issues with national leaders gaining marked prominence, but it is an unhealthy trend all the same.

Here are the results:

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