National

Himachal and Gujarat: How the BJP and Congress fared

Tina Edwin New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

In 2012, Anandiben Patel created a record when she won from Ghatlodia. The former Gujarat chief minister’s victory margin of 1.10 lakh votes was the biggest that year. When the BJP’s Bhupendrabhai Patel won Ghatlodia on Monday, his 1.17-lakh margin created a new record. He polled 1.75 lakh, compared to the 1.5 lakh that Anandiben, who opted out of the electoral race this time, got in 2012.

But Ghatlodia is not the only constituency where the BJP recorded an emphatic victory. There are several others, including Choryasi, where Hiteshkumar Patel won with a margin of 1.1 lakh votes. Ellisbridge and Majura are among the 19 constituencies where the BJP candidate won with margins of more than 50,000 votes. The metric also explains why the BJP’s increased vote share has not translated into a better seat tally. Overall, the BJP had a 49.1 per cent vote share, up from 47.8 per cent in 2012, while its seat share declined from 115 to 99.

The Congress also saw its vote share increase, but the party’s victory margin at the constituency level was not humongous. Rather, it won many seats with narrow margins, as it did in the last poll. Its margin of victory was more than 50,000 votes in only one constituency: Mandvi. Overall, the Congress saw its vote share rise from 38.9 per cent in 2012 to 41.4 per cent.

These elections also saw a near-doubling of the number of closely contested seats – where the victory margin was less than 1,000 votes. BJP won three of these seven seats (Godhra, Dhokla and Botad) compared to just one (Anand) in 2012. In 2012, four seats were won with a margin of less than 1,000 votes, one by the BJP.

In Himachal Pradesh, a much smaller State with a smaller population, there were no dramatic results. The highest margin of victory was 15,896 votes in Nachan, where BJP candidate Vinod Kumar won, while the smallest margin was 120 votes in Kinnaur, where the Congress’ Jagat Negi won. Five seats were won by less than 1,000 votes, three by the Congress.

Published on December 18, 2017

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