Please do our other blogs on the 2020 Delhi election. Today, we explore the possibilities for the BJP.
1.Unlike 2014, BJP had a bigger advantage amongst Upper caste voters during the Lok Sabha Election in 2019
In 2014, BJP led AAP (24.9 to 8.5%) amongst Upper Caste voters (40% of the voters). BJP lost 3 in 10 of these voters in 2015 Assembly election. In 2019, BJP led AAP (29.6 to 5.2%). A similar 30% loss in 2020 Assembly election will deliver BJP 21.4% votes or a swing of 3.4%
2. Unlike 2014, BJP had a bigger advantage amongst OBC voters during the Lok Sabha Election in 2019
In 2014, BJP led AAP (7.9 to 7.4%) amongst OBC voters (18% of the voters, this is an approximate estimate). BJP lost 35% of these voters in 2015 Assembly election. In 2019, BJP led AAP (12.8 to 2.7%). A similar 35% loss in 2020 assembly election will deliver BJP 8.4% votes or a swing of 3.2%
The above two big voting segments will deliver a swing of 6.6%. These alone will deliver about 8 more seats compared to 2015.
3. Even at average retention levels, BJP could do reasonably well
Look at BJP's track record in 2019 Assembly elections, it has been losing 20-25% of the votes in every election, versus the Lok Sabha Election. If BJP manages to retain 75% of the vote it won during the Lok Sabha election, BJP would end with 42.5% of the vote share which is a 10% swing over 2015. This could take it close to 35 Seats
So it seems that BJP has a narrow path to win the election in 2020 but this could get better if -
a. Congress Party Splits Muslim Votes
The main hope for the BJP will be a split in Muslim votes between AAP and Congress. Congress won 20% of the votes amongst Muslims in the 2015 election and 68% in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. If Congress manages to win anything above 25% of the Muslim Votes, AAP could lose crucial minority votes that could be the difference in many seats. Enough for BJP to win a majority
b. BJP uses Sikh CM candidate to sweep Sikh Votes
One reason why Hardeep Puri's name is doing the rounds in Delhi is the ordinary performance of BJP amongst Sikhs during the Lok Sabha election. It won just 39% of the vote, its worst performing segments after Muslims. While a big win here would be helpful to the BJP but the Sikh Population is just 4% in Delhi, winning 75% of the vote will deliver a swing of just 1.5%. May be good in a close election but may dissuade other swing voters and could finally yield no gains.
The narrow path for the BJP is a big headache for the party. It cannot retain most of the Swing voters because Kejriwal is perceived to deliver high levels of performance at least amongst 50 to 55% of the voters if not everybody. Even if it retains a good 75% of the votes, it would come only close to winning the election, not sweeping it.
It can ONLY win by directly hurting the credibility and claims of Kejriwal and then mobilising voters on election day. The question is can they do it? We wait and watch