BJP supporters attend an election rally addressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Dumi village in Akhnoor. Image Credit: AP

For 39 days, elections were held in India for the 17th Lok Sabha (Lower House) of the Indian parliament. This election will decide the next ruling government of the nation. Here are some key numbers you should know this election season, a day away from the results which will be announced on May 23.

29 states

went to vote in seven phases

Elections were held from April 11 to May 19, in seven phases. 

7 union territories

also voted to select MPs to India's lower house

545 seats

Total number of seats in the lower house or Lok Sabha of Indian parliament

Election was withheld in one seat – Vellore, in Tamil Nadu -- due to complaints of electoral malpractice in the form of money power. The total number of seats with running elections in 2019 therefore is 542. Out of the total of 545, two seats are reserved for nominated representatives of the Anglo-Indian community.


Voting percentage in 2019

This is the highest voting percentage since 1952, when general elections were held in India for the first time. The current elections also saw the highest percentage of women voters in India’s electoral history.

Along with the parliamentary elections, state assembly elections were held simultaneously in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Hung parliament

272 seats

to win majority and form a government for any party or alliance bloc

In the event when no single party or alliance bloc wins a clear majority, that is, a minimum of 272 seats, then such a scenario is called a ‘hung parliament’.

In such a case, it is the president of India’s prerogative to invite any single party or alliance bloc to prove its strength on the floor of the House (Lok Sabha). The usual practice is to invite the party or alliance bloc that has finished with the highest number of seats, to form a government and then prove its majority on the floor of the House within a stipulated time frame.

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If that party or alliance bloc fails to prove its majority within the stipulated time frame, then the president can invite the next biggest party or bloc to form a government and prove its majority. In an extreme situation where no party or bloc is able to prove its majority, the president can dissolve the parliament and call for fresh elections.

2019 power battle

The two major blocs: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - led National Democratic Alliance (NDA); and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)

Battleground states or critical seats

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are critical to win - together, these 10 states account for roughly 370 seats, which is about 68 per cent of the total strength of the parliament.

Depending upon which party or alliance does relatively well in these battleground states, the balance of power could tilt either way.

With a fair distribution of seats in North, South, West and East of India, covering very diverse demographic, linguistic, socio-economic and political backgrounds, these ten battleground states have almost always played a crucial role in helping decide which party or alliance bloc comes to power at the Centre.

Head on to our India Elections page for all the latest news, analysis and trend reports on the elections this year.