Elections have always made investors jittery.

There is always fear which starts creeping due to uncertainties associated with elections.

As the general election 2019 is approaching, investors are worried about the performance of mutual funds due to market volatility and the absence of positive news at the global level.

As the political domain is one of the most critical factors, we will analyze how the markets have behaved after every election.

While looking at the trends, there has been some downfall in the market during the year 1989,1998 and 2009 but were these really because of the election, that is the primary question.

2019 General Elections: bane or boon for the Indian economy?

Impact of Elections on the Inidan Economic Market

1. The Year 1989 and the Coalition Era

During the year 1989, the Congress had lost the election. There was a significant interdependence of market and government concerning volatility.

Within two years India saw two different governments. The assassination of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi added to the market volatility leading to increased uncertainty.

The economy of India was suffering; Gross Fiscal Deficit reached 12.7% of GDP with inflation at 10.26%. India barely had forex reserve to finance three weeks’ worth imports, and that was the main reason for market performing not well.

The Year 1991 and the Congress Era

In 1991, the Congress won the election and formed the government.

It regained confidence in the market, and the market started attaining growth. During this tenure, the government took multiple steps for the liberalization and laid a red carpet to the global investors to invest in India, which helped the market gain momentum.

Impact of Elections on the Markets and Mutual Funds

The Year 1996 to 1998 – Unstable, Coalition Government

The years 1996-1998 were again very turbulent for the Indian market. India saw three different prime ministers come and go.

As there was no stability in the political domain, the confidence in the market was also going down.

At the very same time, the Indian economy was battling with the impact of the Asian Financial Crisis. The market was struggling, and the lack of confidence was evident.

The Year 1999 – NDA in Power

In the 1999 election, NDA won, and as the results were within the expectation of the market, the Sensex rallied about 7% and continued the upward trend for the next three months.

However, within the next two years, it fell around 50% due to domestic and global factors such as the 9/11 attack. At the end of the NDA government tenure, the annual compound return was just 3%, and the absolute performance was over 14%.

The Year 2004 – Congress Back to Power as UPA

After the 2004 election result, the market lost 15% in 2-3 trading session as the results were not according to the market sentiment.

Congress had formed a government while the market was hoping for an NDA government. But after the initial disappointment, the market saw the bull rally till late 2007 accompanied by high GDP growth rate and foreign investment flowing to India.

The global financial crisis of 2008 brought an end to the bull market, but the market started recovering in 2009 by the time India went for polls.

The Year 2009 – Congress Continues for a Second Term

In 2009, UPA again came to power.

The market gained 17% in a single day, but as the second tenure of UPA government was filled with scams, the market remained choppy.

For the whole economy, it was a troublesome period. The Sensex had gained 15.5% during the first three years. However, confidence in the government was low.

The Year 2014 – NDA Comes in with BJP in Full Majority – Modi Wave

As the NDA came into power again with a full majority in 2014, the market was euphoric, the volatility reduced to 9.1% from 17.96% and the market rallied to a record high.

The expectation for the economic reform and stable government was the main reason behind it.

In the past four years, the Sensex has grown 40% which is being termed as slow growth because NDA was in the majority. The global factors such as high oil price, weakening Rupee are somewhat responsible for this.

Let’s Rewind

We can also look at the performance of Sensex in the past four Lok Sabha elections in order to gauge the performance of what it has been like in the markets just before the voting year.

Election Year Sensex Points Preceding Year Sensex Points Difference
September 3, 1999 4709 September 3, 1998 2918 1791
April 19, 2004 5800 April 17, 2003 2984 2816
April 15, 2009 11284 April 15, 2008 16153 (4869)
April 4, 2014 22359 April 3, 2013 18801 3558

We can witness the following by looking at trends that have emerged six months after the election results:

Year Part in power Consequence (After six months)
2004 UPA (United Progressive Alliance) The Sensex shot up by 13 percentage points after the public viewed Dr. Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram as reform-friendly.
2009 UPA (United Progressive Alliance) The Sensex was at par with no major policy change as compared to UPA-1.
2014 NDA National Democratic Alliance Policy reforms undertaken by the Modi government at the initial stage such as fiscal consolidation, curbing of inflation drove the Sensex by 9 percentage points


Through the analysis, we see that the election impact is short term on the market. The main factors which create an effect are economic reforms, policies, and stability.

The worry shouldn’t be around who will win the election but will it be an unstable coalition or a majority government.

Happy Investing!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww




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