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UP Phase 2 election: Can BJP improve its 2017 score of 38/55 or will SP increase its tally of 15? | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The stage is set for second round of the high-pitched electoral battle being fought in Uttar Pradesh. People in 55 assembly seats will vote on February 14 to choose their representatives in the second of the 7-phase elections.
In 2017, the BJP had won 38 of these 55 seats and was runners-up in 12 others. The Samajwadi Party, which was decimated in the Phase 1 seats, had performed better and registered victory in 15 seats. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party was runners-up in 22 seats.
The Congress on the other hand had bagged two seats and was second in 9 seats. The BSP did not win any seat and was runners-up in 11. The AIMIM won 1 seat.

The BJP’s victory in the 38 seats was impressive but not as comprehensive as it was in the 58 seats that had polled in Phase 1. The saffron party won just 3 out of these 38 seats with over 20% vote margin as compared to 23 out of the 55 in Phase 1 seats.
The BJP won 20 seats with less than 10% margin and 15 seats with a victory margin between 10 and 20%.
The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, won 11 seats with less than 10% margin and two seats with a victory margin between 10 and 20%.

Division of Votes
An analysis of 2017 results in these 55 seats reveals that all the parties that won benefitted from the division of votes.
In as many as 48 seats, the victory margin of the party that won was less than the votes polled by the party that stood at the third position, which means that if the votes were not divided the result may have been different.
In fact, in five out of the 9 districts that will poll in Phase 2, all the seats were won with a victory margin less than the votes polled by the second runner-up.
The BJP won 33 such seats, Samajwadi Party on 13 and the Congress on 2.
What’s interesting, out of these 48 seats, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party was in third position in 35 seats.

Why polarisation is key to political plans in some seats
In the run up to these crucial elections in Uttar Pradesh, there have been charges and counter-charges of parties trying to polarize voters on religious grounds. While all parties deny the charge, the fact remains that polarization does help the political parties on both sides of the divide.
Six districts out of the nine voting in the second phase have 30% of Muslim population.
Of the 55 seats that go to polls in Phase 2, in 25 seats the winner and runner-up were Hindu-Muslim combination explaining the possible urge of parties to use polarization as a tool to win elections.
A party-wise break up of winners and losers on these 25 seats shows that BJP won 16 of them while the SP won 8 and the Congress 1.
Similarly, religion-wise break up of winners shows that Hindus emerged victorious in 17 seats and the Muslims in 8 of them.

Clearly, there is a method to the madness when it comes to raising the polarization pitch ahead of every election.
While the BJP and the Samajwadi Party are the main contenders in these elections as of now, the BSP and the Congress have the potential to play the spoilsport by dividing the votes.
It remains to be seen how many seats get impacted by such divisions in the 2022 assembly elections.

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