Election: Voting Behavior and Electoral Trends

In the world’s largest democracy, India, voter behavior and political trends have always been a matter of keen observation and analysis. With the general elections approaching in 2024, political parties are gearing up for a fierce battle to win the trust of the Indian electorate. The behavior of Indian voters and electoral trends will significantly impact the upcoming elections. India is grappling with social challenges, including rising inequality. political polarization is another significant challenge that India is facing. The decisions made by voters in the upcoming elections will have far-reaching consequences for India’s future.

Voting Behavior

The act of comprehending the factors and reasons that influence voting patterns is called voting behavior or electoral behavior. In the last decade of the 20th century, significant qualitative changes occurred in the Indian democratic system. The changes in the implementation of the 73rd and 74th Amendments expanded electoral participation to grassroots-level reserved seats for women. As a result, the concepts of electoral and participatory democracy have taken on new meanings. Indian voters have impacted the democratic system, showing both strengths and weaknesses.

Multiple factors determine or influence voting behavior in India due to the highly diversified nature and composition of Indian society.

Caste plays a crucial role in shaping Indian voters’ behavior, with political parties considering it in their election strategies.

Religion significantly influences voting behavior, with political parties exploiting religious sentiments to sway voters despite India’s secular status. Communal parties further politicize this factor.

Linguistic considerations shape voting behavior in India. The  political parties tapping into sentiments to sway voters during elections, reflected in the reorganization of states based on language.

Charisma is a key factor in Indian electoral politics, as seen in the ability of leaders like Nehru, Indira, Vajpayee, and Modi to attract and influence large crowds.

Money plays a crucial role in determining voting behavior in India, with massive amounts spent on elections despite high poverty levels. Money becomes less significant when critical issues or wave elections arise, despite the Election Commission’s inability to limit campaigning expenses.

The ruling party’s performance significantly influences voting behavior, with the fulfillment of election promises playing a decisive role. The increase in “floating voters” or “switchers,” particularly among educated and upper-middle-class individuals, who base their support on performance, has caused some parties to lose their majority despite a previous landslide victory.


One of the most notable trends in recent Indian elections is the rise of regional parties. Regional parties’ rise in Indian elections taps into local concerns and aspirations, resulting in a fragmented political landscape where smaller parties hold the balance of power.

Another trend that has emerged in recent years is the growing importance of social media in Indian politics. Social media platforms are critical for political parties to connect with voters, but raise concerns about misinformation and foreign interference in Indian elections.


The Indian election process has undergone several changes to maintain the dignity of voting rights and eliminate corruption. The first three elections were fair, but standards deteriorated in the fourth one in 1967 due to political corruption. To ensure a fair practice for all, electoral reforms addressed some issues.

There are some reforms and amendment are done in Electoral  right:

  1. The 61st Amendment Act reduced the voting age in India from 21 years to 18 years.
  2. The Election Commission of India supervises every election personnel throughout the cycle.
  3. The introduction of EVMs in 1998 in the state elections of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi revolutionized the election process.
  4. Candidates are restricted to contest from a maximum of 2 constituencies in India.
  5. The Electoral Reform Committee caps the expenditure limit for individual candidates and parties.
  6. In 2019, the EC stopped broadcasting election results before the final phase to avoid misleading voters.
  7. In 2013, an electoral reform expanded the ambit of postal ballot voting to 6 categories of voters.
  8. National Voters’ Day is celebrated on 25th January every year to encourage voter participation.
  9. Candidates can be disqualified for violating the National Honours Act, 1971, and the number of proposers has increased by 10%.
  10. The Election Commission prohibits the entry of arms in polling booths, mandates holding bye-elections within 6 months of a vacancy, and prohibits the sale and distribution of liquor within polling areas.

As the 2024 general elections approach, it will be interesting to see how these political trends and demands for electoral reforms shape the political landscape of India. As India continues to grapple with social and economic challenges, including rising inequality and political polarization, it is clear that the choices made by voters will have far-reaching consequences for the country’s future.

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