BJP reaches India's minority voters as the party's popularity soars
The BJP significantly increased its vote share in virtually every segment of the demographic chart as it powered its way to victory under the leadership of Narendra Modi, becoming the first party in three decades to have an outright majority in the Lok Sabha.
Whether it was gender, castes, age groups or the rural-urban divide, the BJP picked up more voters in all spheres, according to the India Today Group-Cicero post-poll analysis.
The BJP bagged 282 seats in the lower House of Parliament, decimating the Congress that won only 44 seats.
Among the different castes, the BJP increased its vote share dramatically among the upper castes - moving up from 28 per cent in the 2009 general election to 46 per cent this time round.
Among Other Backward Classes (OBCs), its share moved up from 19 per cent to 30 per cent, while its support among Scheduled Castes (SCs) went from 18 per cent to 34 per cent.
Among Scheduled Tribes (STs) too, the BJP's vote share virtually doubled from 22 per cent to 42 per cent.
The backing for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) among Muslims went from 13 per cent in 2009 to 20 per cent this time.
The NDA's vote share among Sikhs too increased from 23 per cent to 33 per cent, while the share of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) fell from 58 per cent to 26 per cent.
BJP significantly increased its vote share in virtually every segment of the demographic chart
The figures were largely in line with the consolidation of Hindu votes across the country, irrespective of caste distinctions that have affected the results of past polls.
Among the different age groups,the BJP and its allies benefited the most from an increase in backing by voters aged 25 or less, including many first time voters.
The BJP's vote share in this crucial age segment increased from 13 per cent to 31 per cent, doubling the NDA's share from 18 per cent to 36 per cent.
Conversely, backing for the UPA from this segment plummeted from 50 per cent to 22 per cent.
Among middle aged voters, the BJP's share rose from 20 per cent to 33 per cent, while support for the party among voters aged 56 or above increased from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.
The NDA's vote share in rural and urban areas was virtually the same, a trend that experts have attributed to the blurring of the rural-urban divide because of an increase in economic activities in villages and smaller towns.
In urban areas, the NDA's vote share went up from 25 per cent to 36 per cent, while it increased in rural areas from 27 per cent to 39 per cent.
UPA's share in rural areas fell from 29 per cent in 2009 to 27 per cent, while backing for it in urban areas decreased from 41 per cent to 24 per cent.
The NDA also made impressive gains among voters with different levels of education. Its vote share among non-literate and educated voters ranged between 37 per cent and 41 per cent, moving up from between 23 per cent and 32 per cent five years ago.
The BJP-led alliance also significantly increased its vote share among both male and female voters.
The backing for the NDA among women increased from 27 per cent to 39 per cent while support among men moved up from 25 per cent to 38 per cent.