Decoding the vote: Mumbai South Lok Sabha

My prediction for the Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat and the victory margin for the seat

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Mumbai South has been one of the showpiece fight of the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The seat attracted nationwide attention when billionaire Mukesh Ambani endorsed ex MP and Congress candidate Milind Deora. The fight is a rematch of 2014 between Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant and ex MP Milind Deora.

Arvind Sawant-Milind Deora

This constituency is a mix of working class areas like Worli, Shivadi and Byculla which are part of the mill land of Mumbai, muslim dominated areas in Byculla and Mumbadevi and posh areas like Malabar Hill and Colaba. Colaba does have its own share of slums like machimaar nagar etc. Since 2014 the Lok Sabha constituency has tilted towards the NDA.

Following are the assembly wise voting figures for the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency for 2019 as well as the last four elections,Mumbai South Voting History

The surprise here has been that the voting has been highest 56.09% (percentage wise and sheer vote wise) in the posh Malabar Hill assembly constituency. The Congress stronghold of Mumbadevi has seen the lowest voting at 48.3%. The Mumbai South assembly has historically seen the lowest voting percentage among the six LS constituencies of Mumbai. Another factor is that the Mumbai city district has seen falling population over the years and hence the total number of votes cast are a little below 8 lakh.

The factors that will influence the result in the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency are as follows,

  • The voting has been moderate in the Marathi speaking population dominated assembly seats of Worli and Shivadi. This is the erstwhile mill district of Mumbai and increasingly becoming the high-rise district of Mumbai. The Sena has an advantage in this election as the MNS is not contesting. The only MNS mass leader after Raj Thackeray has been Bala Nandgaonkar. He started as the giant killer who defeated Chagan Bhujbal in the erstwhile Mazgaon assembly constituency. The MNS could have eaten anywhere between 50,000 to 75,000 votes in Mumbai South LS with majority of the votes coming from Shivadi and Worli. The MNS voters are unlikely to vote for Milind Deora in these areas. These two assembly seats will give a lead of approx 1.15 lakh – 1.25 lakh to the Shiv Sena.
  • The Akhil Bhartiya Sena (ABS) of ex don Arun Gawli is supporting the NDA. This will help the Sena in Byculla assembly seat, where Arun Gawli has been an ex MLA. This would give a chunk of 25,000 to 30,000 votes to the Sena in Byculla, which has a sizeable muslim population. This will allow Arvind Sawant to cut Milind Deora’s lead in Byculla.
  • Contrary to public expectation, the vote in Malabar Hill constituency has been largely for making Modi the PM. This has meant that many of the Gujarati and Marwari voters have pressed the button before the bow and arrow. This demographic was expected to vote for Milind Deora, but they chose Modi over him. The gainer is the Sena candidate Arvind Sawant. Milind Deora had understood the same and has appealed to the voters to vote seeing his face and not on his party or party leader.
  • The BJP MLA from Malabar Hill Mangalprabhat Lodha has worked very hard in this election. Probably Lodha did not have to campaign this hard for himself in 2014 Vidhan sabha election. This has polarised the BJP voters towards voting for the Shiv Sena, forgetting the bitterness of past four years.
  • The low voting in Mumbadevi seat robs Milind Deora of much-needed lead over Arvind Sawant. This factor has dealt a body blow to Deora’s chances of re-election. Mumbaidevi has always voted the least in Mumbai South. That the Congress were not able to mobilise the muslim voters in Mumbadevi speaks a lot on the mood in this nation in 2019.
  • Colaba assembly seat has seen less voting but the advantage here is to the NDA as the BJP and Sena have their loyal voters here. Thus, Shiv Sena will lead in four out of six assembly segments.
  • Modi has trumped the candidates for a large number of voters in Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency as well. This sealed the deal for Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena.

 

I project Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena to defeat Milind Deora of the Congress by a victory margin of approx 1.6 lakh votes. Check the assembly wise vote projections below,

Mumbai South Seat Projection

Check my predictions for the other Mumbai seats,

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