Elections 2021

How the presence of smaller parties affected the prospects of many a candidate in TN

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on May 03, 2021

MNM President Kamal Haasan VEDHAN M

Though the MNM, NTK and AMMK have not won a single seat, they have split the vote in many constituencies

The Tamil Nadu Assembly 2021 elections have once again revealed the dominance of the two Dravidian majors -- DMK and AIADMK -- as no candidate outside the alliance of these two parties has managed to secure a win.

But the multi-cornered contest also revealed that smaller parties cannot be discounted as they can make or break the prospects of a candidate in a tightly contested election such as the current one.

As of 3 PM on Monday, the DMK-led alliance has won or is leading in 159 constituencies, while the AIADMK-led alliance has secured or has established leads in 75 constituencies in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly.

Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), Seeman’ s Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) and TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) have drawn a blank in the current assembly elections. However, early voting trends of these parties, or their alliance candidates shows that they have damaged the winning prospects of AIADMK and DMK candidates in many constituencies.

For instance, take Shozhinganallur constituency. DMK’s S Aravind Ramesh won the constituency over AIADMK’s KP Kandan by a margin of 35,405 votes. In the same constituency, MNM, NTK and DMDK (AMMK's alliance partner) have collectively polled 73,068 votes - twice the victory margin of the DMK candidate.

A broad analysis of the polling trend shows that the combined vote share of MNM, NTK and AMMK and its alliance partners is higher than the victory margin of DMK candidates in 84 constituencies, which implies that the absence of these parties would have reduced the vote split-up.

Similarly, the collective votes polled by these parties (or alliance candidates) is higher than the victory margin of AIADMK candidates in 48 places, including key constituencies such as Alangulam, where DMK's Poongothai Aladi Aruna lost by a mere 3,539 votes to AIADMK's Paul Manoj Pandian. MNM, NTK and DMDK collectively polled 16,789 votes in this constituency.

The party-wise comparison of votes polled versus the losing margin of the AIADMK in the respective constituencies shows that Seeman’s NTK has done more damage to AIADMK than the AMMK, as widely expected. NTK candidates polled more votes than DMK's victory margin in 56 constituencies, while AMMK candidates secured higher votes in 20 seats.

Kamal Haasan's MNM candidates polled higher votes than AIADMK’s losing margin in 19 constituencies. For instance, AIADMK’s MK Ashok lost to Congress' JMH. Aassan Maulaana by 4,352 votes in Velachery constituency, while MNM's candidate Santosh Babu secured 23,072 votes, spoiling the chances of AIADMK candidate.

According to the latest data put out by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the DMK's vote share was 37.7 per cent, while the AIADMK's vote share stood at 33.29 per cent. While the vote shares of smaller parties such as MNM, NTK and AMMK is yet to published, the ECI has mentioned the vote share of 'Others' as 14.5 per cent.

Published on May 03, 2021

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