Mystique behind multi-phase polls (Part-III)
Midway, something fresh emerges which can change the way people are voting. The 2012 UP joust saw fierce campaigning by Rahul Gandhi, but he just got squeezed in the war between the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's BSP. Anti-incumbency against 'Behenji' and multiple voting phases saw the SP coming to power.
Look at the recent history of multi-phased polls: Lok Sabha poll 2014 (nine phases): BJP 281/543; Lok Sabha poll 2009 (five phases): INC 206/262; Lok Sabha poll 2004 (four phases): BJP 138, INC 145; West Bengal 2016 (seven phases): 211/294 seats to Mamata Banerjee; West Bengal 2011 (six phases) 227/294 seats to Banerjee-Congress alliance; UP 2012 (seven phases) SP 224/403; UP 2007 (seven phases): BSP 206/403; UP 2002 (three phases) SP 143, BSP 98, BJP 88, INC 25; and Bihar 2010 (six phases): 206/243 seats for NDA
In the 2017 UP state assembly polls, this same axiom paid in spades, the BJP won a landslide -- 324 out of 403 seats. It was held from February 11 to March 8, 2017 in seven phases. This election saw voter turnout of 61.04% compared to 59.40% in the previous election.