Who Moved My Vote? : Digging Through Indian Electoral Data – Yugank Goyal & Arun Kumar Kaushik


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Nothing is so emblematic of the idea of democracy as elections. The election machinery is meant to draw power from the people and pump it into our representatives. But what if the machine is not foolproof? And what if that is by design? What if the electoral methods we employ leak our mandates and divert the power to someone else?

Electoral figures are numbers. Surely, they can be added, subtracted and manipulated to achieve a desired result? In fact, this happens routinely in India’s first-past-the-post system. Parties with fewer votes may secure more power, and the ‘quality’ of victory may not always correspond to the number of seats they have won. Numbers also tell us the ‘real’ rise and decline of parties in elections. We can also measure how competitive or disproportionate elections are in India.

In Who Moved My Vote? , Yugank Goyal and Arun Kumar Kaushik dig through the data from India’s national and state election results to show how the system creates leakages in the mandates it returns, and why the whole apparatus needs radical reform.

About the Author

Yugank Goyal teaches public policy at FLAME University in Pune. He is also the director of Centre for Knowledge Alternatives, which documents district-level statistics and cultures of India. He studied law and economics for his masters and doctorate. In addition to psephology, he has written on issues related to law and development, informal markets and knowledge production. He is passionate about education: recently he co-founded a school in rural, western UP.

Arun Kumar Kaushik is an economist by training. He has earned degrees in business economics, law, and economics and development economics. He has authored several papers on electoral politics of India. His other research interests are intellectual property law and its dynamics and distortions. He is most passionate about his teaching and enjoys teaching quantitative subjects.


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