AS THE BJP hopes to capitalise on the anti-incumbency against the Ashok Gehlot government in next month’s Rajasthan Assembly polls, a scrutiny of vote margins in 2018 reveals that its rival Congress had bigger winning margins than the party.
The Congress also got a higher average number of votes per seat – 71,832 – across the 195 seats it contested, with the BJP contesting in 200 with an average 69,145 votes in each. However, the BJP’s average across the 73 seats it won (84,604 votes) was marginally higher than the Congress’s share of 100 seats (83,370 votes).
With its 100 seats, the Congress had finished just short of the majority mark. This was a big change from 2013, when the BJP had won a landslide with 163 seats.
In the 100 seats where the Congress won, the average margin between its candidates and their nearest contenders was much higher than the BJP’s average winning margin in its 73 seats – 18,728 votes, to 15,435.
In the 64 seats where the BJP won and the Congress was the runner-up, its average victory margin was 14,537 votes. The Congress won by a larger average margin of 18,804 votes in the 90 seats where the BJP was its nearest rival.
A big jolt for the BJP in 2018 was that the Congress managed to flip 75 seats the BJP had won in 2013, apart from clinching another 8 seats by dislodging other parties and Independents who won in the previous poll.
Of the 100 seats the Congress won, 85 were rural seats, where the party’s average votes per seat was 82,054, and its average winning margin was 18,784 votes. The BJP’s average number of votes in the 58 rural seats it won was comparatively better, at 85,038 votes. However, its average winning margin, at 15,438 votes, was lower than the Congress’s.
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In the 15 urban seats won by the Congress, the party got 90,827 votes on average in each, with the average victory margin 18,415. The BJP also won 15 urban seats, but with an average 82,931 votes, and the average winning margin of 15,421.
Among other parties that won seats in 2018, the CPI(M) had the best average victory margin of 23,524 votes in the two seats it won. The BSP won six seats but its average victory margin was much thinner, at 9,838 votes. The Bharatiya Tribal Party won two seats with an average victory margin of 8,758 votes. The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party won its three seats with an average victory margin of 11,581 votes.
Independents were winners in 13 seats and their average victory margin was 13,466 votes.