Decoding the vote: Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat

Mumbai went to the polls on the 29th of April in the fourth phase of election. Five of the six seats in Mumbai had unprecedented voting and increase from last time, except Mumbai South seat which had a drop of one percentage.

In this article, I will analyze about the voting trends in Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency. Mumbai North recorded a voting percentage of 60% which is a huge increase of 7% from 2014 (voting percentage was 53.1%). Let us have a look at the assembly wise voting history of Mumbai North,

Mumbai North Voting History

The voting percentage has steadily increased in Mumbai North over the last three general elections, from 42.6% in 2009 to 53.1% in 2014 and finally 60% in 2014. In 2014, this increase was a huge anti incumbency vote against the UPA II government. From the looks of the 7% voting increase in 2019, this looks like a Modi wave sweeping through this area.

The voting percentage in BJP strongholds of Borivali (66.19%) and Charkop (60.80%) has been higher than 2014. But so has been the increase in Malad West that has a sizeable minority population. BJP led in all six of the assembly constituencies of Mumbai North in 2014. The picture would be the same this time too as the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is just too formidable in Mumbai North. Congress has had a limited campaign in Mumbai North as they tried to rally voters in minority areas of Borivali, Malad etc. They did not try to even campaign in many BJP dominant areas. The Congress attempt seemed to be try to reduce the defeat margin of 2014 (4.47 lakh). However, I do not think they have succeeded.

The long lines for voting have been more in areas where BJP has been sweeping all elections in the past, be it assembly or municipal polls. Gopal Shetty has ben popular in Borivali and he has used the last five years to spread his influence to other areas as well. Plus the BJP poll machinery did not have to sweat a lot to get out their voters.

So let me put my neck on the chopping block and hazard a guess on the victory margin for BJP’s Gopal Shetty in Mumbai North (victory is a foregone conclusion),

Mumbai North Result Forecast for LS 2019

My forecast is that Gopal Shetty would get 7,21,000 votes while Urmila Matondkar will get 2,51,000 votes in 2019. Thus, BJP is winning Mumbai North by a margin of 4,70,000 votes. Here are some factors that helped me determine the result,

  • BJP is getting a huge margin of 1,27,000 in Borivali on back of the higher voting. Though Congress will get Christian votes in the I C colony area of Borivali. Also the Congress is likely to get some of the MNS votes (2014 assembly: 21,765 votes). The addition of MNS and Congress votes in 2014 assembly was nearly 36,000 and the Congress polled 28,000 votes in LS 2014. So transfer of MNS votes plus anti-incumbency votes could get Congress 32,000 votes.
  • Similarly the turnout in Dahisar was nearly the same as 2014 elections (general and assembly polls). Congress has some traditional voters here and could get some MNS votes as well.
  • Charkop assembly is also a stong BJP bastion and so Gopal Shetty could get a lead of 1 lakh from Charkop.
  • Voting in Magathane assembly segment is comparable with LS 2014 and has in fact fallen w.r.t 2014 assembly elections. This indicates that Sena MLA and cadres have not been quite active. MNS had 32,000 votes in Magathane in the 2014 assembly election. Congress would get a good chunk of these votes, though BJP would also gain as ex MLA Pravin Darekar (2009) left the MNS and joined BJP.
  • The Congress would get a bulk of their votes from Malad which has a lot of minority votes (Muslim and Christian). I am projecting 60,000 votes for the Congress. This is consistent with 2014 assembly polls where Aslam Sheikh of Congress got 56,574 votes and won by a margin of 2,300 votes, as the BJP and Sena fought separately. BJP and Sena had together got 72,000 votes. BJP had 83,000 votes in LS 2014 in Malad and there are reports of Marwari and Jains voting in huge number for the BJP in Malad. Hence I am increasing the number of votes for the BJP in Malad.
  • BJP would also get a good lead in Kandivali East as well as ex MLA Ramesh Singh Thakur joined the BJP in 2017 (is a famous builder and runs a host of educational institutes in Kandivali).
  • The undercurrent in the constituency is for the BJP due to the host of infra works like two under construction metro lines and proposed coastal road coming up in this area.
  • One interesting thing to note would be that the result of BJP and Sena deciding to fight the 2019 assembly elections together, state education minister and Borivali MLA would be re-elected by a 1.2 lakh plus margin. In 2014, he had won with a margin of 79,000 votes (he had garnered 108,278 votes). Sena was the runner-up with 29,000 votes while MNS was third with 22,000 votes. Congress was a poor fourth with 15,000 votes. Thus, Vinod Tawde would have the highest victory margin in Maharashtra in 2019. He would beat Ajit Pawar from Baramati who had a victory margin of 89,000 votes in 2014.

Let me know your observations in Mumbai North by leaving comments to this post. Love to be proved wrong on my forecast and see BJP win by a margin for 5 lakh votes.

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