Every fifth member in the 15th Lok Sabha won in 2009 by a slender margin, less than 3% of the votes polled, in 113 of the 543 constituencies, indicating a higher level of competitiveness in Indian polls.
The Election Commission is considering less than 3% votes as a slender margin, since the average number of voters in a Parliament constituency in 2009 was about 14 lakh. Of them, about 59.7% came out for polling.
If the trend continues, close victory margins can be a deciding factor for formation of the next government this time too.
The gainer of slender margins in 2009, however, was BJP, as about one-fourth of its MPs had thinner victory margins than their Congress rivals. For the Congress, it was about one-ninth of the total number of contestants.
Of the 80 seats in UP, the margin was less than 13% in 19 segments. BSP candidates won in nine of these seats with the Congress winning in four and the SP and BJP in three each.
In Andhra, the Congress was the biggest gainer, winning in six of the 11 segments having low margins. In Gujarat, the Congress won five of the nine seats falling in this category. In Maharashtra, the Congress-NCP alliance also won five of the nine seats in this category.
In Tamil Nadu, finance minister P Chidambaram won from Sivganga with a margin of less than 0.5% of the total votes polled. His cabinet colleague S Jaipal Reddy won from Chelvella by a few thousand votes.