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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Nomura says low turnout not a concern, but shift in BJP's poll rhetoric worries investors

A lower response in past elections has been associated with both incumbent victories and changes in power, the analysts said

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 18.05.24, 10:41 AM
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Representational image Sourced by the Telegraph

Market concerns about a low voter turnout scuttling investor bets of a BJP sweep in the elections could be `spurious’ as there is no clear empirical signal of a low turnout hurting the incumbent, analysts at Nomura said.

A lower response in past elections has been associated with both incumbent victories and changes in power, the analysts said.

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However, a shift in election rhetoric of the BJP from governance-centred themes to religious and sectarian issues seems to have spooked markets, with participants trying to comprehend the reasons behind this shift in strategy

“In India, voter turnout has averaged ~59.1 per cent since 1950s and is a shade higher, at 61.8 per cent, for elections held since the 1980s. Therefore, if 2024 indeed ends up at ~66.9 per cent, turnout would still be much higher than the historical average," Nomura said, adding that voter turnout and anti-incumbency have no clear link.

The low voter turnout has been one of the reasons that has seen stocks coming under selling pressure.

Investors are worried the turnout in several BJP stronghold states has been lower both relative to other states and past elections.

Nomura said this has prompted a rethink in expectations of a clean sweep for the BJP.

"In our view, comparing phases across election years is not an apples-to-apples comparison, as the number of seats contested and the geographical spread of the constituencies differ. Constituencies will inevitably vary in their propensity to vote, which could explain some of the variation in turnout across phases,’’ Nomura's Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi said.

If the INDIA alliance comes to power, one can expect sell off across most domestic oriented sectors particularly financials, consumer discretionary and PSUs, they said.

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