The 2014 parliamentary elections in India delivered an unexpectedly clear mandate for change: the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an absolute majority in the lower house, the Lok Sabha. Its controversial leading candidate Narendra Modi is the new prime minister of India. How could the BJP achieve such an overwhelming victory? This article analyses the elections and some of the main reasons for the unprecedented BJP triumph. It starts by evaluating voter turnout and its consequences and then discusses the result itself. The paper analyses important voter groups, carefully examines voting at the level of the regional states in India and assesses the role of significant political players, such as the newly-founded anti-corruption party AAP. The paper concludes with a description of several distinct features of the new parliament, some thoughts on the election outcome within the framework of the Indian political system and a cautious look at the road ahead.