With over 50% vote share in 224 seats, Narendra Modi becomes first PM since Nehru to return to power with a bigger mandate

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections, widely touted to have missed the Narendra Modi wave of 2014, ended up exacting 303 seats for the Bharatiya Janata Party. This has made Narendra Modi the first prime minister to return to power with a bigger vote share for the party enjoying full single-party majority in the Lok Sabha since Jawaharlal Nehru's victory in 1957 election.

Vote share

In 1957, Congress had improved its vote share by 2.79 percentage points over the 1951-52 election, when it won 364 out of 489 seats and a vote share of 45 percent. In 1957, when Nehru was up for re-election, he was battling the right wing inside and outside his party which became vocal after the passage of the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955.

 With over 50% vote share in 224 seats, Narendra Modi becomes first PM since Nehru to return to power with a bigger mandate

Narendra Modi on Friday, at BJP veteran LK Advani's house. Twitter/@BJP4India

The States Reorganisation Committee's work in dividing the country on the basis of linguistic preference and the cloud of food insecurity notwithstanding, Nehru was able to win 371 out of 489 seats in 1957. His vote share improved to 47.78 percent.


The BJP has secured 40 percent vote share (according to India Today) as counting progresses in 2019. BJP's vote share in 2014 was 31.34 percent, making this a significant jump in vote share percentage points.

In 2019, BJP has also managed to secure over 50 percent of overall vote share in as many as 224 seats. This is the highest vote share received by BJP nationwide in any Lok Sabha election since the party was (re)formed in 1980, The Hindu has reported. For an impression of how huge a rise this is, in the wildly successful election of 2014, BJP had secured a 50 percent plus vote share in only 136 seats.

In key states and Union territories, BJP's vote share has seen enormous jumps since 2014. In Mamata Banerjee's West Bengal, it has risen from 16.34 percent in 2014 to 40.21 percent. In Delhi, which saw a rout of the Aam Aadmi Party this Parliamentary election, it is up from 32.19 percent to 56.55 percent. In Chhattisgarh, BJP's state in-charge Anil Jain's decision to change all 10 sitting MPs, seems to have resulted in the increase of the vote share from 32.97 percent to 50.07 percent.

BJP’s highest vote share this year is 74.5 percent, in Surat seat.

File image of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. AFP

File image of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. AFP

Seat count

In 2014, the Modi wave drove the BJP to secure an historic single-party majority in a Lok Sabha election. Historic because it was the first time since 1984 that a single party had won majority since Rajiv Gandhi's 1984 victory of 415 seats and also, because it won 282 seats — 166 more than the previous 15th Lok Sabha.

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Modi is the third prime minister of the country who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha.

Nehru won around three-fourth of the Lok Sabha seats in the first elections in the country during 1951-52. Subsequently, he was able to win 1957 elections as well as 1962 elections with full majority. In the 1962 elections, Nehru won again bagging 361 seats out of total 494 seats in Lok Sabha.

After 20 years of Independence, the Congress's hegemony in the country's politics finally started breaking down in 1967 when it lost six state assembly elections. Out of this six, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal was lost by the Congress for the very first time.

However, in 1967 elections, Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi was able to get 283 seats out of total 520 seats. This was Indira's first electoral victory in general elections.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated Date: May 24, 2019 14:14:06 IST