Elections 2021

NOTA heartburn for those who lose by a narrow margin

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on May 03, 2021

Winning margin was less than 1,000 in at least 30 Assembly constituencies in the five States that went to polls

A loss in an election deeply hurts a candidate if the margin of defeat is very narrow. It hurts even more if the margin of defeat is less than that of NOTA (none of the above) votes polled in that particular election.

The winning margin was below 1,000 in at least 30 assembly constituencies in the five States in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Of them, at least 21 winning candidates in these constituencies would have thanked NOTA for their win as their victory margin was less than that of NOTA votes polled. In seven of these constituencies BJP candidates won, followed by DMK in four, and the Congress and TMC in three each.


West Bengal

In the high-voltage West Bengal assembly election for 292 constituencies, it was a direct fight between TMC and BJP in the seven seats that witnessed victory margin of less than 1,000 votes. The number of NOTA votes polled was more than that of victory margin in all seven of them. Of them, four seats were won by BJP and three by TMC.

Tamil Nadu

In the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly, the victory margin was below 1,000 votes in eight constituencies, and NOTA votes polled in seven of them were more than that of the victory margin. Of these, three went to DMK, and one each went to AIADMK, PMK, BJP and INC.

NOTA did not matter

The margin of win was more than that of NOTA votes in the remaining nine of the 30 constituencies that registered margin below 1,000 votes. These constituencies included four each from Kerala and Puducherry, and one from Tamil Nadu.

The number of NOTA votes polled was less than that of the victory margin in Vriddhachalam constituency of Tamil Nadu.


In the 140-member Kerala assembly, the margin of victory was below 1,000 votes in six constituencies. Of them, NOTA votes did not make much impact in four constituencies – Manjeshwar, Kuttiadi, Tanur and Thrissur – as the victory margin surpassed NOTA votes. The margin of victory was less than NOTA votes in Perinthalmanna and Thripunithura helping the Indian Union Muslim League and INC to record win, respectively.


Though the victory margin was below 1000 votes in seven constituencies of the 30-member Puducherry assembly, NOTA votes were higher than the victory margin in only three constituencies (Bahour. Karaikal North and Nellithope). The margin of win was more than NOTA votes in Mahe, Muthialpet, Ozhukarai and Yanam constituencies.


Of the 126 constituencies in Assam, NOTA votes mattered in two assembly segments. In a straight fight between BJP and INC in these two assembly constituencies both parties cornered a constituency each in these narrow margin wins.

Assembly elections were conducted for 822 seats in four States and a Union Territory of the country.

Published on May 03, 2021

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