Probability of becoming PM: Jayalalitha vs Narendra Modi

Let’s do a real quick and very dirty probability calculation for two contenders who may be Prime Minister in 2014 based on the likelihood map. Let’s consider Narendra Modi first. The BJP’s expectation range as we’d assumed is between 130 – 180. Let’s assume a normal distribution and make it really dirty for simplicity’s sake and also assume the probability of BJP getting about 160 seats or above is 0.6 (that’s being generously dirty to the BJP and plain dirty to integration, but let’s live with that for now). Let’s also assume the BJP’s traditional allies who are “highly likely” to be part of NDA as marked in the likelihood map follow their expectation functions as well. The SS, SAD and TDP add to 33 seats. One could add AGP and smaller caste parties and make this number 40 without much exaggeration. And given this is close to their expectation, let’s assign this a probability value of 0.6.

So what we have here is the core NDA at 200 seats so far and this has a probability of occurrence of P(BJP >= 160) * P(NDA Allies >= 40) = 0.6 * 0.6 = 0.36. Now for Mr Modi needs two of the following three (and preferably all three) to get close to a simple majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha: BSP, AIADMK and TMC.

The TMC is in a bit of a bind. By virtue of a weakened INC, any non-NDA formation in New Delhi will likely include the Left and therefore the TMC cannot possibly join it. However if it does join the NDA, its own long term prospects in a state with 25% Muslims may have some impact. So the only logical option in TMC’s self interest is to be seen as the last party that joins an imminent NDA government. That is, despite having no real options for itself, what the TMC does in this game is to automatically increase the bargaining powers of Ms Jayalalitha and Ms Mayawati. Further, bear in mind the leaders of BSP and AIADMK also have a legitimate bargain to drive given they don’t have the problem of competing with the Left in an existential sense; and also have a shot at becoming Prime Minister or cornering far more ministries.

So, for our equation, let’s assume the TMC joins the NDA at no extra cost for Mr Modi but then doubles the premium of BSP and AIADMK. Originally, both BSP and AIADMK had 2 options — NDA and Third Front. The Third Front being their preferred and stated preference — for both the optics of being secular and the practicality of it offering a better shot at Prime Ministership or more ministries. So let’s assume these two parties joining the Third Front compared to NDA is at 60:40. That means, the 0.4 original probability value of either party being in favour of Mr Modi’s ascension will be queered to 0.16 by TMC. So his probability of becoming PM will be, P(Narendra Modi = PM) = P(NDA >= 200) * P(TMC) * {P(AIADMK)*P(AIADMK Premium) + P(BSP)*P(BSP Premium)} * P(Other Small Parties) = 0.36*0.6*{0.6*0.16 + 0.6*0.16 }*0.8. That leaves the Probability of Narendra Modi being the Prime Minister of India in 2014 to be 0.033176.

For Ms Jayalalitha  to become Prime Minister, she has two routes: one is an ultra rare event where she is a compromise candidate in an NDA Government and another where she leads a third front government. As another dirty calculation, let’s assume her chance within the NDA is 1/100 of Narendra Modi’s. That’s 0.00033. The third front as a whole, excluding the TMC, TDP, the core NDA allies and RJD, is likely to reach 160; or that is the expectation according to the likelihood map. The probability of that when considered a group can be straight away assigned at 0.6 just as we did for non-BJP NDA allies. The INC merely needs to perform poorly as it’s expected to do and extend support from the outside for the formation of this government. The premium in terms of INC supporting from the outside can possibly be set at 0.5 given the party does have an incentive to do that — namely keep the BJP out. The only downside however is the large number of Prime Ministerial aspirants in this group. Let’s assume there are 5 viable candidates and all are equally likely including Ms Jayalalitha. That leaves her probability in this group to P(Third Front >=160) * P(INC >100 & <130) * P(INC Premium) * P(Others/ Independents) *P(Aspirant Premium) = 0.6*0.6*0.5*0.8*0.2 = 0.0288.

Another low probability event in favour of Ms Jayalalitha is a Federal Front backed by the TMC instead of Left and SP instead of BSP. As another dirty calculation, let’s assume the Federal Front is 20 times rarer than the Third Front. That leaves it at 0.0014.

Add the two rare events to the Third Front Possibility, given they are all distinct paths, and we have Ms Jayalalitha’s chances of becoming Prime Minister at 0.0305 as against Mr Modi’s at 0.03317. That’s a premium of 0.003 in terms of likelihood of becoming Prime Minister that Mr Modi commands over Ms Jayalalitha.

2 thoughts on “Probability of becoming PM: Jayalalitha vs Narendra Modi

  1. hemen parekh

    Brave Words ?

    While talking to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York recently , our PM , Man Mohan Singh said ,

    “ I have not become Prime Minister to re-draw the boundary “

    When the Indians were struggling for independence , the then Conservative Party Prime Minister of UK , Winston Churchill said in British Parliament ,

    “ I have not become Prime Minister of His Majesty’s government , to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire “

    Within months , the British voters replaced him with Labour Party Prime Minister , Clement Attlee , who granted independence to India – even if reluctantly

    The world-girdling mighty British Empire ( on which , at one time , the Sun never set ! ) , got completely liquidated over the next 50 years – if you ignore the Falkland Island , next to Argentina !

    With barely 8 months to go till 2014 National Elections , Man Mohan Singh does not have to worry about re-drawing the boundary !

    He must be too busy , worrying about the repetition of history when , the Congress government got thrown out of power , after the Emergency !

    When brave Indian soldiers – and innocent citizens , are getting killed by Pakistani intruders every day , brave words are not even poor substitute for brave deeds

    These are the ultimate in hypocrisy / mockery !

    “ Krato Smarah ! “ ( Only the deeds will be remembered )

    • Hemen parekh ( 27 Oct 2013 )

  2. Nitesh

    There is no error correct in this formula. As the probability of any other person become pm is very less hence all those of others becoming pm must be added to Modi’s probability.
    Then we can get the correct probability

Comments are closed.