The map of Uttar Pradesh alongside shows what might theoretically happen if the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party were to join hands to take their Gorakhpur-Phulpur experiment into next year’s Lok Sabha elections. The smaller map shows the extent of the BJP’s victory in 2014, when it won, along with its ally Apna Dal, 73 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.
There is intense speculation about an SP-BSP alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Arithmetically speaking, such an understanding has great potential, as these maps show. Soon after the byelection results were declared Wednesday, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav told The Indian Express, “We will continue this alliance for Kairana bypoll (necessitated by the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh last month, but the date for which is yet to be announced) and the 2019 Lok Sabha election.” In the evening, Akhilesh met with BSP chief Mayawati for 40 minutes in Lucknow.
An analysis of constituencywise data from the 2017 Assembly elections, the latest in the state, shows the NDA could lose as many as 50 of its 73 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh if SP and BSP votes are combined. SP-BSP could win at least 57 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, and the BJP-Apna Dal only 23.
The SP and BSP contested both 2014 and 2017 separately. The SP won five seats and BSP zero in 2014; in the Assembly elections, the SP won 47 seats and the BSP 19 in the 403-member House. The SP had an alliance with the Congress in 2017, which won seven seats. The BJP and its allies, Apna Dal and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, won 325 Assembly seats.
Since the SP and Congress had an alliance in 2017, votes polled by the Congress have been considered as SP votes in constituencies where the SP did not contest. Because the two parties also had friendly contests at some seats, the votes of the SP have been considered for these projections.
An important caveat: These estimates only give an indication of a broad trend. Whether this electoral arithmetic is translated into actual victories will depend heavily on the chemistry between the cadres of the SP and BSP who have long been political enemies. And of course, no two elections are the same.