The Congress has finished five seats ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh elections and is all set to form a government in the state after 15 years.
This is despite the BJP having a marginal lead over the Congress in terms of vote share. The political outcome in the elections could have turned upside down had a couple of thousand voters voted for the BJP instead of the Congress or None of the Above (NOTA). Here’s why:
Ten out of the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh were decided by a margin of less than 1,000 votes. The Congress won seven of these seats. They are Suwasra, Jabalpur North, Rajnagar, Gwalior South, Damoh, Biaora and Rajpur. The BJP had won six out these 10 seats in the 2013 elections. Eight seats had a victory margin of 1,000-2,000 votes. The Congress won three of these seats. In 13 seats, NOTA acted as a spoiler for the BJP.
This means that the BJP lost these seats by a lower numbers of votes than what was polled by NOTA.
Counting trends throughout the day made the intense battle between the parties evident.
Early trends safely established how the final seat tally would be in Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Mizoram. Unlike these states, it was not an easy job to estimate how the new Madhya Pradesh assembly would look like.
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A single chart sums up the story: As the counting trends began showing up on the Election Commission’s website before noon, the Congress seemed to be heading towards a clear victory, with seats much higher in number than the incumbent party’s.
But a very uncertain day followed: the BJP got close to its arch-rival multiple times, and even overshot it once. Then again the difference began rising in the late evening, only to narrow up again. Finally, the suspense ended by the late evening.
First Published: Dec 13, 2018 08:32 IST
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