Punjab election: AAP tally biggest ever in the state

  • In terms of vote share, AAP’s victory in the state is not that unprecedented. The Congress won 45% and 44% of total votes in 1980 and 1992.
AAP's Punjab CM candidate Bhagwant Mann waves at supporters during a rally to celebrate the party's win in Assembly polls, at Dhuri, in Sangrur.(PTI)
AAP's Punjab CM candidate Bhagwant Mann waves at supporters during a rally to celebrate the party's win in Assembly polls, at Dhuri, in Sangrur.(PTI)
Published on Mar 11, 2022 01:26 PM IST
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ByAbhishek Jha

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has won 92 of 117 seats in Punjab. The only time a single party has won about these many seats in Punjab since 1977 – the first year when the state elections were held on 117 seats – was in 1992, when Congress won 87.

The Congress (77 seats in 2017) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (75 seats in 1997 and 73 in 1985) have also won comfortable majorities at other times, but at no time have they won this big a majority.

In terms of vote share, AAP’s victory in the state is not that unprecedented. The Congress won 45% and 44% of total votes in 1980 and 1992.

However, AAP (45.2% vote share) has won this election in a more multipolar contest than the one in 1980 or 1992.

The median effective number of participants (ENOP, a measure of the degree of competitiveness at the constituency level measured by taking the reciprocal of the sum of squares of vote shares) in this election is 3.2, the highest in an assembly election since 1977.

Which party did the AAP hurt the most in building this majority? Since the alliances formed in this election were new, it is useful to compare strike rates – share of contested seats won -- of parties rather than seat shares.

The strike rate of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decreased proportionately more compared to 2017 than the strike rate of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has. This is partly because the Congress won a comfortable majority in 2017.

In the 2022 election, the strike rate of the Congress and the SAD are closer, while the BJP has fallen further behind. These trends are also true when one looks at the vote share of these parties in the seats they contested. (See chart 1)

The AAP’s best performance came in the Malwa sub-region – it accounts for 69 out of 117 seats in the assembly -- among the three sub-regions of the state. It has won over 90% of the seats in this sub-region, and could have won the state election even if it had not won any seat in the other two sub-regions. AAP’s performance in this part of the state is not completely unexpected as it performed well in this region earlier too.

However, the party made the biggest inroad in the Majha region, where it has won close to 2/3rd of 25 seats in 2022. In Doaba, which accounts for the least 23 seats, the party has won fewer share of seats than in the other two regions and registered the least proportional increase in vote share. (See chart 2)

In the 2017 election, the support for the AAP was largely rural.

In 2017, both its seat and vote share increased with the increasing rural nature of a seat – determined as such by Shamindra Nath Roy at the Centre for Policy Research using satellite data on built-up area.

In 2022, AAP’s seat share in the most urban seats is comparable to that in the most rural seats and it has made gains in urban seats. However, its vote share continued to be the highest in most rural seats.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhishek Jha is a data journalist. He analyses public data for finding news, with a focus on the environment, Indian politics and economy, and Covid-19.

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