After voting for the final phase of the Gujarat Assembly election ended at 5 p.m. on December 5, the Election Commission put the turnout in the 93 constituencies at 58.8%. However, the next day, the EC revised the figure to 65.3%.
The 6.5% jump reflects a last-minute surge in the turnout, as more than 16 lakh voters would have cast their ballot after the 5 p.m. deadline, indicating that so many people were already in the queues at the polling booths at 5 p.m. and they all exercised their franchise.
Normally, those who are in the queues at 5 p.m. are allowed to vote.
In the first phase on December 1, the initial figure of 60.11% was revised to 63.14%.
The overall turnout for both phases stood at 64.33%, a drop of more than 4% from the turnout registered in the 2017 election. The 2% higher turnout in the second phase from that of the first phase can be attributed to the EC’s appeal to the voters made in the middle of the polls as the first phase polling was low particularly in urban areas.
In a rare appeal in the middle of the election; the poll body tweeted on December 3: “Urban apathy continues unabated from Shimla to Surat. ECI appeals to voters of Gujarat to come out in large numbers during second phase to compensate for low voting in 1st phase.”
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Rajeev Kumar, in a press release said, “Gujarat cities have shown a similar urban apathy trend during voting on December 1, thus pulling down the percentage of voting in the first phase. In the second phase, people must come out in large numbers to compensate for the low voting in phase one.”