The Grand Old Indian elections, that massive multi-month saga is long at last nearing the end. Already, various news channels have started relentless coverage of the run-up to May 16th, when hopefully we will have a new government. In this run-up, I thought it would be interesting if Google could throw up some insights. So I spent some time over at Google Trends, looking at search trends for the key “front-runners” for this election.

The election has been largely dominated by three main politicians at the national level viz. BJP’s Narendra Modi, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and wild horse AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal. So I pondered over what Google Search trends can reveal for these three players over the last 12 months. The first graph which shows Interest over Time from Google Trend’s is shown below:

Web Search Trends

Interest Over Time

The graph shows a clear “Modi Wave” dominating the web search queries in the last 12 months. In fact, its more like a Tsunami in the last couple of months. Poor Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are far far behind in this quest to remain at the top of the voter’s mind. They however outshine Modi in one or two instances each. In Rahul’s case, seems his interview with Arnab on Times Now was responsible for the spike in search interest that we see towards the end of ¬†January. Arvind Kejriwal on the other hand spikes well above Modi in December when the AAP party formed the Delhi government. There is one other sharp spike in interest for Arvind around the time when AAP vacated power in Delhi.

What is more interesting is the regional interest in these leaders. Google trends luckily also shows the relative interest by state for each of these leaders. Let’s start with Modi whose chart is shown below:

Interest by Region for Modi

Interest by Region for Modi

Predictably Gujarat dominates as the region from which maximum interest is shown. In this election, Narendra Modi has turned out to be that rare candidate who has shown some measure of a pan India appeal and this is evidenced somewhat by the search interest graph. However, one should note that the interest seems to be more concentrated in North and North-west India.

Now let’s move on to Rahul Gandhi

Interest by Region for Rahul Gandhi

Interest by Region for Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi seems to have a bigger search following in the North, particularly in Jharkhand. Overall again, there is a concentration in the North, but it is not as intense as that of Modi. And finally now lets look at Arvind Kejriwal.

Interest by Region for Arvind Kejriwal

Interest by Region for Arvind Kejriwal

Given that the AAP movement found its first success in North India, during the Delhi state election, predictably search volumes for Kejriwal are concentrated in the North. However, surprisingly the leader finds much lower interest in other parts of the country as compared to Modi and Gandhi.

Interestingly all three charts, show a remarkable “lack” of interest in South India and parts of the North-East. Would this lead to yet another “coalition” government propped up by the parties of the south? Only time will tell…

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One Comment

  1. hemen parekh says:

    The Die is cast

    With only 41 seats of Lok Sabha remaining to be voted upon tomorrow , the die is cast
    Outcome of those 41 seats is unlikely to make much of a difference to who will form the next Government at the Centre
    If BJP falls short of 272 seats , ” Aya Ram , Gaya Ram ” horse-trading will settle the issue
    But what will send a loud and clear message across India is ,
    ” Who wins in Varanasi ? ”
    It is no more a question of Congress vs BJP
    Or , a question of David vs Goliath
    It is no more a question of choosing between , lesser of the two evils
    Even if AAP has made a few honest mistakes and occasionally , compromised on lofty principles , for the first time , people of Varanasi have a choice
    To choose between the least of the THREE EVILS !
    There are no ABSOLUTE standards by which to judge political parties
    There are only RELATIVE standards – and , even these keep shifting
    If you think , some of the AAP members – and even , some of its leaders – are susceptible to making immoral compromises , you are entitled to your opinion – which is your right
    And Arvind Kejriwal would be the first person to defend your right
    Let us ask ourselves ,

    ” Who is the Least Corrupt of the three ?
    Who do I deserve ?
    Who is likely to resign if he cannot fulfill his poll-promises ? ”

    BJP came into power in Gujarat on 26 Dec 2012 , by promising :
    ” If voted to power , we will construct 50 lakh houses for the poor in next 5 years ”
    In the 500 days since BJP came to power , Gujarat Government should have built , and distributed , 13,69,863 homes
    To find the truth , file a RTI application – without expecting any answer !
    Of course , by 20th May , expect NaMo to resign as Gujarat CM
    Not for having failed to fulfill his promise to people of Gujarat
    But , to fulfill his poll-promise to people of India , that , if voted to power , BJP will construct 100 Mega-Cities in next 5 years
    That is one Chandigarh or Gandhi-Nagar , every 18 days !
    Hopefully , P C Sorkar ( jr ) will help out with a Mirage !

    * hemen parekh ( 11 May 2014 / Mumbai )