GUJARAT AND HIMACHAL PRADESH ELECTION RESULTS: WHY BJP GOT MORE VOTES, BUT FEWER SEATS AND MORE SEATS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
NO STOP TO MODI BUT CONGRESS TRAILS IN GUJARAT AND HP
GUJARAT TOTAL SEATS – 182
Congress – 77
Others – 06
HIMACHAL PRADESH TOTAL SEATS -68
BJP – 44
Congress – 21
Others – 03
Delhi/ Ludhiana : Leaders and workers of the local unit of (BJP) celebrated the party’s victory in the assembly elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the results of which were declared on Monday. The partymen led by state general secretary Jeewan Gupta and cashier Gurdev Sharma Debi gathered at Ghanta Ghar Chowk where they celebrated the win by dancing and distributing sweets.
Speaking on the occasion Debi said, “Victory of our party in Gujarat has busted the false claims of the Congress party which was misleading the people by propagating that no development had taken place. This is nothing less than a big slap on the faces of those who were questioning Gujarat Model. The landslide victory of BJP in Himachal elections further proves that neither demonetisation nor GST has led to prevailing of negative sentiments among the public and instead they are more concerned about good governance and a corruption free government.
Other senior leaders of the party present on the occasion included Sanjay Kapoor Ram Gupta, Dr. Satish Kumar Umadutt Sharma, Neelam Dhawan, Tarun Jain, Kuldeep Prashar, Harish Sharma and Satnam Sethi.
• In seat shares, Congress has trounced the ruling party in the rural areas.
• For Gujarat as a whole BJP’s vote share of 49.1% is a slight improvement over the 47.9% it achieved in 2012.
• Though it’s a huge comedown if one were to compare it with the 59.1% share it got in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Slice and dice the Gujarat results along rural-urban axes, reserved and unreserved seats or by regions, and the seat tallies would convey the impression that there are sharp differences in the way different parts or sections of the state voted. Yet, look at the vote shares and a somewhat surprising pattern emerges. Across all of these divides, the BJP’S vote share is higher than that of the Congress.
This is true for every region, it is true for the rural/rurban/urban categories and whether it is SC or ST reserved seats or unreserved seats. Of course, the gap between the vote shares of the two parties would differ in each of these cases, but in every one of them Congress is behind BJP.
Complete coverage of Gujarat , Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections results 2017
That is quite a surprise given the seat shares where, for instance, Congress has trounced the ruling party in the rural areas. Indeed, for the state as a whole BJP’s vote share of 49.1% in these polls is a slight improvement over the 47.9% it achieved in 2012 though a huge comedown if one were to compare it with the 59.1% share it got in the 2014 Loksabha polls.
Congress too improved its vote share from 38.9% five years ago to 41.4% this time.
But that still meant it was nearly 8 percentage points behind BJP, only a marginally smaller lead in votes than in 2012. In a bipolar election, a gap of that magnitude should normally result in a fairly big win for the leading party, as in fact happened last time.
Yet, this time round, the fight became agonizingly close for BJP, which finished just seven seats above the majority mark. What explains this inability of BJP to convert its lead in votes into a more sizeable lead in seats?
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One clear reason was that much of this vote share came from building up huge wins in the cities. In the 33 urban seats it won, its average winning margin was about 47,400.
Similarly, it won its rurban seats by margins of over 26,000 votes on average. Impressive as those wins were, it was an example of a surplus of votes not really adding to seats.
The Congress votes were much more evenly spread. As a result it was able to win more seats than BJP even in regions where its vote share was actually lower. The most dramatic illustration of this was Saurashtra, where BJP won just 23 seats compared to 30 for Congress though its vote share of 45.9% was higher than the 45.5% won by Congress.
North Gujarat was not too different either. While BJP had a 45.1% vote share compared to Congress’s 44.9%, it won fewer seats — 14 to 17.
Known how different communities voted in Gujarat since 1982
Incidentally, this was the only region where Congress had bettered BJP’s vote share in 2012 but the seat tallies were almost identical to the current ones. Considering how much had been made of the Patidar anger against BJP in these elections, it is ironical that the 52 seats in which Patidars form a significant chunk of the electorate were the ones in which BJP won a majority of votes (50.3%) and of seats (28).
However, this was also reflecting a regional variation in the way the Patidar dominated seats behaved. Of the 28 Patidar seats BJP won, only nine were from the Kutch-Saurashtra region. In contrast, 17 of the 23 seats won by the Congress where the community is dominant came from Kutch-Saurashtra.
These minor variations notwithstanding, what would give BJP reason to cheer in what became a closer election than it would have liked is the fact that it finished ahead on votes in every slice of Gujarat.