India and The Parliamentary Elections: First Forecast (April 15th)
by Gurumurthy Kalyanaram
Based on a meta-analysis of the various preference polls, and an analysis of the issues and the campaigns by the various political parties, the expected median number of parliamentary seats that each political party is likely to secure is as follows. Support of 272 parliamentary seats in Lok Sabha (Indian parliament) constitutes the majority.
Congress Party and its political allies including Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, National Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, and Trinamool Congress: 225 (caveat: since these parties are incumbents, they are more likely to return a lower number of seats than the expectation).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its political allies including Akali Dal, Assom Gana Parishad (AGP), Janata Dal(U), and Shiv Sena: 190 (caveat: since these parties are out of power, they are likely to enjoy anti-incumbency benefits, however mild).
The Communists (35) will never ever support BJP, and may have no choice but to support Congress party. That would give Congress and its allies about 260 parliamentary seats. And these 260 seats will also be in firm opposition to any BJP led government. There is another wrinkle to this arithmetic. Trinamool Congress and the Communist parties are like snake and mangoose because they compete for the same political space in West Bengal. So it is not clear that Trinamool Congress will support Congress if the Congress seeks the support of Communists. But let us assume the most optimistic scenario for Congress-led government.
All India Anna DMK (ADMK) and its allies, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), and Telugu Desam (TDP) and its allies  are likely to secure about 77 parliamentary seats. For different local political compulsions (they all compete the same political space in their respective states like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh), these three political parties will never ever support Congress-led government and they may have no choice but to support BJP. That makes it about 265 parliamentary seats in favor of a BJP-led government, and firmly against a Congress-led government.
So it will come to the support of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) which is likely to win about 8 parliamentary seats, and much smaller political parties.
Congress party and allies: support of 260 parliament members, and opposition of 265 parliament members
BJP and allies: support of 265 parliament members, and opposition of 260 parliament members
Given the numbers and the positioning of various political parties, the odds of a BJP led government appear to be slight higher. But whoever forms the government, the coalition is likely to be too compromised and fragile to sustain itself in office for more than a few years.