It is an official wrap for the 2019 Lok Sabha Election and the saffron wave has once again swept across the country. While 2014 saw parties aggressively promoting their respective candidates through mediums like social networks, in 2019, they went a step ahead by using tools like automated bots to send out Tweets to data crunching for targeted advertisement.
With the country’s internet users growing in numbers each year, access to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google have surged across the country, thus turning these mediums into a potent weapon for parties. The immediate repercussion of which was the issue of dissemination of fake news, which forced the government to urge these social media players to strictly impose mechanisms to counter fake news and restrict political ad placements.
Even though social media has emerged as a tool for political campaigning, it is electoral data and the in-depth analysis that has helped parties to understand the voter sentiments better.
In a recent report by a leading national daily, it said that BJP’s stupendous win in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election was mainly due to the party’s carefully crafted methodologies which looked into data to understand its voter-base better. The report stated that the party hired two consulting firms for micro-targeting voters with the help of data analytics.
The consulting firms then put up a team of 400 people who worked on data collected by on the ground BJP workers who procured information on the beneficiaries of central schemes like Ujjwala and Swachh Bharat thus helping them influence the voters. By doing so, the party contacted about 240 million beneficiaries in a span of eight months, through its missed call campaign, Shakti App and from the data that they bought from telecom agencies. Further, by running an analysis on the survey on a sentiment survey, the party was able to gauge the sentiments of the voters better.
Thus, by relying on latest technologies cutting edge technologies like AI and ML, political outfits have highlighted the growing precedence of data in our lives.
These electoral data that is available in various public portals can be used not just for influencing voters, but for understanding the success rates of schemes, its reach and other nuanced features.
In this article, we take a look at portals where you can access public electoral data and how key data-analytics services providers can use this information for their business-case scenarios.
Election Commission of India: The nodal agency that is responsible for supervising election-related activities have released the preliminary base data for the recently concluded Lok Sabha Election. Though data provided do not delve too much into the intricacies of elections, this is by far the most updated and reliable source of information on the recent elections. The present data include information on result data of all the parties in India, party-wise vote share of each state and constituency trend.
Data.gov.in: Is web portal which contains a host of data, which include information seats and constituencies in the State Legislative Councils (The data refers to details on direct elections, local authorities, constituencies, direct elections etc), allocation of seats in Rajya Sabha, expenditure incurred in elections and so on.
The portal is readily available for anyone who is looking for authentic government information and the initiative has been started as part of the Open Government Data (OGD) and acts as a single point of access to Datasets/Apps in the open format published by Ministries/Departments.
India Votes: Is one of the largest public elections result portals and aims to become the open-source equivalent and Wikipedia of election information in India. It contains election results of all Lok Sabha elections since 1952 and all State elections since 1977 and provides the data in a structured format thus making it suitable for analysis.
Statistical Reports - Election Commission of India: A contain a voluminous collection of a statistical report on election data from 1951 to 2014. It also provides information from bye-elections results, General Elections, state legislative assemblies result and also includes other miscellaneous statics
Harvard Dataverse: This database contains detailed candidate-level data for elections to the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas and has been downloaded close to 3,855 times. The data spans from 1977-2015, with each row representing a candidate that ran for office in that state-year. The portal is a one-of-a-kind initiative that aims to standardise data citation for the purpose of research.
GitHub: The portal contains a collection of data on General Elections of the recent past. The link contains information on Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, booth-wise information for Mumbai 2014 assembly polls etc.
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.