Typically, voter turnouts are higher in ‘wave’ elections. The general election in 2014 registered the highest voter turnout since independence. The high turnout also coincided with a clear single party majority, achieved for the first time since 1984, and widely attributed to a ‘Modi wave’. But in the first phase of the 2019 general elections held on April 11, turnout in 58% of the 91 constituencies was lower than in 2014. The overall turnout in these constituencies, according to the Election Commission, was 69.43%, marginally lower than the 70.8% registered in the same seats in 2014.
There were stark variations in voter turnout among States. In Telangana, the turnout had decreased in all the 17 seats that went for polls, while in Andhra Pradesh, only six of the 25 seats saw a dip. In Uttarakhand, too, the turnout had come down in all seats. The biggest drop was registered in the Arunachal West constituency, where 62.36% voted in 2019, a 12.79% point fall compared to the previous election. The biggest jump was registered in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, where 64.22% of the electorate voted in 2019, a 7.28% point increase compared to 2014. The initial trend of lower turnouts compared to 2014 suggests the absence, at least for now, of any kind of ‘wave’ determining voter behaviour. The table with data on turnout can be viewed here.