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Can AI technology help political parties better understand demographics and plan for elections




With every election approaching in India, a question that is discussed within several political parties is how can the party understand and engage with all stakeholders in the country? Every politician is faced with the stark reality how to approach the voters and convince them to vote in his/ her favour.

Reason: With exception to few most of the politicians and parties fail to keep promises made in the previous elections.

With over 1.3 Billion people, it is humanly impossible for any political party to tackle such a big, diverse, and complex question.

Political parties try to understand the mind-set of the voter and develop winning election strategies, based on factors like socio-economic profile, social structure, caste, religion, occupations etc. which are crucial in building their vote bank for success in democratic elections. They normally do that by analysing voting pattern and keeping track of demographic changes such as population growth, urbanisation rate, migration pattern, literacy level etc. It sounds like a great plan but it requires lot of hard work and manpower.

The decay in the value system of political parties has been correctly described by many writers including Wright Mills, Richard Scamman and even Lowi himself. Parties in many countries have shown signs of irrelevance leading to erosion of party based politics. In India, it is still not clear whether party based politics will survive or not despite two major party based upheavals.

Political paralysis is a state of affairs in which all the organs of a State are dysfunctional and there is total inability to function on the part of a government. This can be the result of internal or external reasons. External reasons could be lack of political will and internal reasons may be related to constitutional issues. In certain situations, bad governance cannot be cured by changing the ruling party. It requires drastic restructuring and removal of non-performing civil servants from their jobs. We cannot get out of a mess if we keep repeating the same mistakes.

Religious sentiments and divisive caste politics do not cut ice anymore. Political parties are at the heart of every democracy but are yet to wake up to this new reality.

It is therefore necessary that we should look beyond our limited human mind sets and look for solutions from other sources which have demonstrated outstanding intellectual capabilities in their respective areas.

But there is a simpler solution 'Artificial Intelligence' which can do it all for you.

Is artificial intelligence need of the hour to have better understanding of the demographic pattern and requisite strategies for winning elections?

An answer to this question has now emerged with a Cambridge Analytica whistle blower coming out with the company’s work in India. The founder of Cambridge Analytica had mentioned a few months back that offering of micro-targeting electoral strategy in India would be an exciting field. AI and big data could be highly useful for developing an electoral strategy for political parties.

AI can make lot of sense in understanding human behavior. With its ability to understand and predict human behavior and what drives people towards an action is at the core of predictive analytics, AI has been helping eCommerce companies get the insights and helps them drive to certain actions. A similar model can be created for political parties on a larger scale to plan election strategies, review performance and selection of candidates among other critical decisions.

In a country like India, where the voter turnout is over 65% in general and over 80% in case of some state election, if you are not using data analytics to forecast the behavior of voters, then you are out of date and chances are that you will never return to power. Political parties can no longer afford to be politicians who rely on emotional triggers or wild accusations; they have to become informed citizens aware of all factors that influence voters on the ground…

The main objective of election campaigning is getting the maximum number of votes. It sounds simple but requires a lot of strategy and planning. When we talk about parliamentary seats in India, there are around 543 constituencies out which only 70-80 percent can be polled and only 0.2 percent polling stations can influence an election. This is why it becomes critical to understand voting pattern of people so that parties can allocate resources accordingly to influence voters.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming to the rescue of India’s political parties instead of writing letters to them, followed by a meeting in response to requests.

The need to mine data for insights and develop strategy based on it was always there but the use of technology to leverage ‘big data’ has increased manifold in the last decade. With most political parties having their own tech arms, each election now gives us some insights into adopting new age tech tools that can help them nail an electoral win.

The recent assembly election results of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Gujarat are a clear indication that data analytics is at the heart of electoral success.


My name is Anil Agarwal, a professional Astrologer with media background and a scientific mindset. I am An independent researcher and blogger from India. Living by the vedic astrology credo “Predictions should be relevant to Desh, Kaal and Patra” I keep delving into latest development on the frontiers of technology, geo-political changes and shifting socio-economic patterns.


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