In an encouraging voter participation trend, female voter turnout in both the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections over the last fortnight has been marginally more than male voters. This could be seen in line with the 2014 general elections, when the female voter turnout was more in 16 states and union territories when compared to male voters.

The overall turnout in the previous Lok Sabha election was however lesser for female than male and it would be interesting to see if that trend is bucked in this election. In 2014, the male turnout was 67.09% while the female turnout was 65.63%. The overall turnout was at 66.40%.

In the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on 11 April, total male turnout was 68.02% while that for female voters was marginally more at 68.53%. The trend continued in the second phase of polling too where the total male turnout was 69.40%, marginally lesser than female turnout which was at 69.47%.

The move is interesting because women electorate are a key support base now which political parties reach out to with many promises women specific schemes, more focus on girl child education, employment and safety. The women reservation bill too has been a key focus in the ongoing election campaign narrative.

Data shows that in the first phase, that a hill state like Uttarakhand has sprung up a surprise by female voter turnout out exceeding male voter turnout by more than 5.6 percentage points. While the female voter turnout was 64.45%, male voter turnout was 58.77%.

In the second phase, Bihar led the way with the difference between female voter turnout and male voter turnout at nearly 5.97 percentage points. While the male turnout was 60.09%, female turnout was an impressive 66.06%.

In the seven phased Lok Sabha elections, five more phases are yet to go. The last phase of polling is on 19 May and the counting will take place on 23 May. The turnout in the first two phases have been impressive and have matched the earlier turnout of 2014. The overall voter turnout for first phase was at 69.45% and for phase two it was 69.43%.

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