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INDIA

27 Feb 2019

Election 2019 - The Swing Factor

“She” Matters

In our first 2019 LS Election: The Swing Factor series, we analyse the gender gap and its implications on the upcoming elections.

Women’s Turnout Rising More than seven decades after India gained independence, women are still woefully under-represented as candidates in state and national elections. Although they comprise half the country’s population, women make up just one-tenth of eventual winners. Despite their glaring under-representation as elected representatives, women have made great strides as voters.

Women’s turnout is increasing with each election. Their voices have now become equally if not more important than men’s in elections. Our analysis shows that in the past decade, women voters have been the deciding factor in quite a few state elections such as Uttar Pradesh in 2017, Bihar in 2015, etc. We believe that women voters will be one of the ‘X’ factors in the 2019 LS elections.

Could women’s turnout beat men’s? Though men still outnumber women as registered voters, the increase in women’s participation is not driven by higher voter registration; rather, the shift is the result of greater turnout at the ballot box.

Irrespective of the precise factors behind this surge in women’s turnout percentage, their rising participation at the ballot represents a remarkable trend; by 2019, it is plausible that women’s turnout will meet – or even exceed – that of men (see Exhibit 1).

Rising turnout and the growing political assertiveness of Indian women are making their voices and policy preferences heard loudly across the country’s political stage. As is evident, women voters are agents of change – they vote differently than men and can affect re-election prospects.

What triggered the swing? While education and awareness are two of the important drivers of this trend, the major factor giving a big fillip to women’s participation at the ballot box is peaceful polls – very evident when you see women’s turnout in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where previous polls were marred by violence. Higher women’s participation is indeed a feather in the cap of Indian democracy.

Exhibit 1: Average turnout boosted by higher women’s turnout

Special Report

turnout boosted by higher women’s turnout Special Report Centrum Equity Research Team +91 22 4215 9000

Centrum Equity Research Team

+91 22 4215 9000

75

65

55

45

35

By the 2019 general election, it is plausible that women’s turnout could meet or even
By the 2019 general election, it is plausible that women’s turnout could
meet or even exceed that of men
Average Turnout (%)
Gender Gap (%) - RHS
1962
1967
1971
1977
1980
1984
1989
1991
1996
1998
1999
2004
2009
2014

10

8

6

4

2

0

%

2009
2014

1999
2004

1996

1989 1991-92

1980 1984-85

1998

1971
1977

1962
1967

1996 1989 1991-92 1980 1984-85 1998 1971 1977 1962 1967 Exhibit 2: Gender gap over the

Exhibit 2: Gender gap over the past 14 Lok Sabha elections

The shift is a result of higher female turnout

Triple Talaq drove sharp women turnout in 2017, giving BJP a thumping majority

Liquor ban - Highest voter turnout in 15 years giving Mahagathbandhan a majority

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

40

35

30

Mahagathbandhan a majority 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 Male turnout Female

Male turnout

Female Turnout

Source: Election Commission

Women have re-defined elections

Pro-women policies have led to decisive voting

Exhibit 3: Uttar Pradesh – Lok Sabha elections

60%

56%

52%

48%

44%

40%

Pradesh – Lok Sabha elections 60% 56% 52% 48% 44% 40% Exhibit 4: Uttar Pradesh –

Exhibit 4: Uttar Pradesh – Assembly elections

70%

64%

58%

52%

46%

40%

Uttar Pradesh – Assembly elections 70% 64% 58% 52% 46% 40% 2004 2009 2014 2002 2007

2004

2009

2014

2002

2007

2012

2017

Male Female Male Female

Male

Male Female Male Female

Female

Male Female Male Female

Male

Male Female Male Female

Female

Source: Election Commission

Exhibit 5: Bihar – Lok Sabha elections

65%

60%

55%

50%

45%

40%

5: Bihar – Lok Sabha elections 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 2004 2009 Male Female
2004 2009 Male
2004 2009
Male

Female

2014

Source: Election Commission

2

Source: Election Commission

Exhibit 6: Bihar – Assembly elections

65%

60%

55%

50%

45%

40%

6: Bihar – Assembly elections 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 2005 Male 2010 Female 2015

2005

Male6: Bihar – Assembly elections 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 2005 2010 Female 2015 Source:

2010

Assembly elections 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 2005 Male 2010 Female 2015 Source: Election Commission

Female

2015

Source: Election Commission

Election 2019 - The Swing Factor

Policies that helped AIADMK win consecutive Assembly (2011 and 2016) and Lok Sabha elections

Amma Baby Care Kits

Thalikku Thangam

Mahalir Thittam

Thittam Scheme

Exhibit 7: Tamil Nadu – Lok Sabha elections

78%

72%

66%

60%

54%

7: Tamil Nadu – Lok Sabha elections 78% 72% 66% 60% 54% 2004 Male 2009 Female

2004

Male

2009

– Lok Sabha elections 78% 72% 66% 60% 54% 2004 Male 2009 Female 2014 Source: Election

Female

2014

Source: Election Commission

Implications for 2019

2014 Source: Election Commission Implications for 2019 Exhibit 8: Tamil Nadu – Assembly elections 84% 78%

Exhibit 8: Tamil Nadu – Assembly elections

84%

78%

72%

66%

60%

54%

8: Tamil Nadu – Assembly elections 84% 78% 72% 66% 60% 54% 2001 2006 2011 2016

2001

2006

2011

2016

Male

Male Female

Female

Source: Election Commission

2011 2016 Male Female Source: Election Commission 3 Women’s rising turnout in elections and their growing
2011 2016 Male Female Source: Election Commission 3 Women’s rising turnout in elections and their growing
2011 2016 Male Female Source: Election Commission 3 Women’s rising turnout in elections and their growing

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Women’s rising turnout in elections and their growing political assertiveness will again be an important “swing factor“ in the upcoming election. Their voices and issues are increasingly becoming important on the country’s political stage. Now, all political parties are eyeing their support:

Schemes Post 2014 Lok Sabha elections for women:

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2016 – Increasing maternity leave in the organised

The

sector

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns and rural areas

Ujjwala – Cooking gas cylinders for millions of poor households launched in May 2016

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojna Save The Daughter, Educate The Daughter: launched Jan 2015

Sukanya Samriddhi Account Girl Child Prosperity Account: launched Jan 2015, saving scheme targeted at parents

The Prime Minister recently said: “When we empower the women in a family, we empower the entire house-hold. When we help with a woman’s education, we ensure that the entire family is educated. When we facilitate her good health, we help keep the entire family healthy. When we secure her future, we secure the future of the entire home. We are working in this direction.”

Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi also highlighted the demands of women. In fact, he has pledged that “his party will ensure that women will be chosen as chief ministers in at least half of Congress- ruled states by 2024,” a push that he says will begin by increasing women’s representation.

We believe this is a large structural change taking place in the country and women will be one of the ‘X’ factors in the 2019 LS elections.

Election 2019 - The Swing Factor

Appendix A Disclaimer This document is not for public distribution and has been furnished to

Appendix A

Disclaimer

This document is not for public distribution and has been furnished to you solely for your information and must not be reproduced or redistributed to any other person. Persons into whose possession this document may come are required to observe these restrictions. This material is for the personal information of the authorized recipient, and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. This report is not to be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in any jurisdiction (USA,UK,Canada,Singapore etc) where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal. It does not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual clients.

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Election 2019 - The Swing Factor