The voting percentage in UP assembly elections touched an all time high of 59.4% in 2012. Not just that, the voting percentage of female voters was more than that of the male voters for the first time in 2012.
The voting percentage in the first three phases of 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh has crossed 60% and if this trend continues, the voting percentage this time around could end up as the all-time high. In fact, the voting percentage in UP assembly elections has never crossed 60% in the last 60 odd years and 16 assembly elections.
Number of Voters crossed 10 crore for the first time in 1996
The number of eligible voters in UP increased continuously from 1962 except in 2002. The number of voters in 1951 and 1957 was more than the number of eligible voters in 1962 because of the presence of multi-seat constituencies in both 1951 and 1957. The only occasion when the number of voters decreased compared to the previous election was in 2002. The number of voters decreased by over 1% in 2002 compared to 1996. This could be because of large scale computerization of electoral rolls taken up during this period. The number of voters increased by an average of 2% per annum in the last 25 years. The number of voters crossed the 10 crore mark for the first time in 1996.
The 2012 assembly election in UP saw the highest ever voter turnout in history with 59.4%. The voting percentage crossed the 50% mark for the first time in 1962. It was on the rise continuously till 1974. The voting percentage dropped to below 50% in 1977 and this trend continued for the next three elections. It went back to more than 50% after that. The 2007 assembly election saw one of the lowest voter turnouts at just 45.96%. In 2012, it increased to 59.4%, the highest ever in UP assembly election history.
Female voting percentage overtook the Male voting percentage in 2012
The total number of female voters in UP was less than the male voters by about 10% ( in terms of the total electorate) all through the last 16 assembly elections. This difference was the least (at around 8%) in 1974 and highest (around 11.4%) in 1991. The difference in voting percentage of male & female was also quite stark except the last few elections. The difference was more than 21% points in 1962 when male voters recorded a 61.3% while female voters recorded a mere 39.7%. The difference was consistently more than 10% points till 1985. The difference was less than 10% points in both the 1989 and 1991 assembly elections only to increase to more than 10% points in the elections of 1993 and 1996. After that, the difference narrowed down to 6.5% points in 2002 and finally in 2012, the female voting percentage overtook the male voting percentage by 1.6% points. In 2012, while female voters recorded a record turn out of 60.28%, the highest ever in history, male voters recorded 58.68%. It remains to be seen if this trend continues in 2017 and which party will benefit from a large voter turnout.