/ languages

Choisir langue

India election - the statistics

The facts and figures of the world's largest poll

by Rosslyn Hyams

Article published on the 2009-04-24 Latest update 2009-04-30 09:11 TU

Villagers wait to vote in Tripura state(Photo: Reuters)

Villagers wait to vote in Tripura state
(Photo: Reuters)

In April and May 2009, millions are voting across the country with the world's second-largest population, at 1,166,079,217. Since China, whose population is 1,338,612,968, does not hold parliamentary elections, that makes this the biggest exercise in parlimentary democracy in the world, with all the challenges that entails.
  • Some 714 million voters are eligible to take part in India's general elections; in the last elections to the Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament) it was closer to 680 million;
  • Voting takes place on five dates: 16 April, 23 April, 30 April, 7 May, 13 May in different constituencies spread over 35 states or territories; 
  • There are 830,000 polling stations, equipped with one million electronic voting machines (which will save a lot of paper and trees);
  • The elections will return or replace 543 members in the 15th Lok Sabha of 2009, with 11 more seats reserved for under-represented communities.
  • Security forces will be out in strength - just over six million personnel, covering the length  (4,000 kilometres) and breadth (2,500) kilometres of the country.