Major Indian Cities See Low Voter Turnout in 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Loksabha Elections 2024
Preeti Bali / 8:22 am / May 22, 2024

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, significant Indian cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, and Hyderabad recorded lower voter turnout. All these urban areas reported less than 60 percent voter participation, with some even falling below the 50 percent mark. The trend across these cities indicates that many residents opted to combine the voting holiday with their regular weekend breaks.


Upcoming Polls in Delhi Amidst Long Weekend

Delhi is set to vote on Saturday, May 25. With Buddha Purnima being celebrated on May 23—a gazetted holiday—many residents are likely to take advantage of the long weekend, potentially affecting voter turnout. This pattern was previously observed in Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar, which voted on April 26, a Friday. These areas saw the lowest turnout in decades, with Ghaziabad reporting around 50 percent voter participation.


Election Officials Hopeful for Higher Turnout in Delhi

An anonymous election official expressed confidence that Delhi would break the low turnout trend through extensive voter awareness campaigns. However, it’s noteworthy that Delhi also experienced a lower turnout in the 2019 elections, with a participation rate of 60.6 percent. The highest turnout was in North-East Delhi at 63.86 percent, while New Delhi had the lowest at 56.91 percent.


National Trends of Low Voter Turnout

In the 2024 elections, at least 126 Lok Sabha seats that voted in the first five phases recorded turnouts below 60 percent, including 12 seats with less than 50 percent participation. These seats include Kalyan (47.08%), Mumbai South (47.7%), Hyderabad (48.48%), Secunderabad (49.04%), Mathura (49.41%), Thane (49.81%), and Ghaziabad (49.88%), areas with substantial working-class populations.


Turnout Between 51 and 55 Percent in Major Urban Areas

Nineteen Lok Sabha seats in major cities reported voter turnouts between 51 and 55 percent. This list includes Mumbai North Central (51.42%), Porbandar (51.83%), Mumbai South Central (51.88%), Lucknow (52.03%), Kanpur (53.05%), and Bangalore South (53.17%). Other cities with similar turnout rates include Pune, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mumbai North, North West and North East, Chennai Central and South, Bangalore Central and North, Agra, Nagpur, and Ahmedabad East and West.


Impact of Weekends and Heatwave on Voter Turnout

While weekends are not the only factor affecting voter turnout, they significantly impact the working-class population. Additionally, a severe heatwave in Delhi has compounded the issue. On the fifth phase of polling, temperatures in parts of Delhi exceeded 47 degrees Celsius, prompting a ‘red alert’ from the weather office and the closure of schools for summer vacations.


Haryana Also Set to Vote on May 25

Along with Delhi, Haryana—home to Gurgaon and Faridabad—will also vote on May 25 in the sixth phase. In the 2019 elections, Gurgaon had a turnout of 67.33 percent, and Faridabad saw 64.1 percent, both higher than Delhi and its surrounding areas.


Final Phase and Vote Counting

The final phase of voting will take place on June 1, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4.


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