First, a caveat — we can be wrong. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time something like this has been tried at this scale anywhere in the world. We are using methods designed to understand people and their basic motivations and applying them to the world’s largest democratic exercise. If we are right, we will double down on what we’ve learnt and continue to build out our systems. If we are wrong, we will learn from our mistakes, fix our systems, and be stronger for it.
Along the way we have found a well of support from across the world — thank you for your emails and your comments.
On the 23rd of May, India’s choice of a future will be revealed. It will also tell us how wrong or right we are. But, we aren’t losing sight of the fact that the fate of a billion people is far more important than any system or method we have built.
Without any further ado, here is our projection.
We have strong and weak projections across all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
We believe the BSP + SP + RLD will win 54 seats in Uttar Pradesh. We may be wrong about 8 seats.
The BSP will win 27. The SP will win 22. The RLD will win 2. We have a few more weak projections for the BSP than for the SP.
We believe the BJP will win 21 seats. This may go up by 9 seats we have currently projected for other parties.
We believe the INC will win 4 seats.
We believe the PSP(L) may win 1 seat — though it could easily swing the SP’s way.
We also believe the BJP will see an average vote share drop of 3-6% and the Gathbandhan will see their vote share rise by 2-5%.
Over the last six months we identified close to a hundred issues that are playing a role across communities. We picked a few — some more important than others — and the constituencies they mattered in. Here they are, in no particular order.
In 2014, people in UP voted across caste lines, choosing a future that wasn’t rooted in their past. In 2019, voting along caste lines returned with a bang.
(Published first on Anthro.ai - a collection of anthropologists, mathematicians, data scientists and market specialists, studying the ongoing election in Uttar Pradesh as an experiment to test the tools and models they have developed to navigate complex human behavior. )