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14 bypolls, one message: United Opposition can dent BJP’s 2014 seat tally

In a blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Opposition parties emerged victorious in 11 of 14 Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2018 11:30 IST
Roshan Kishore
Roshan Kishore
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
bypolls,byelection,bye elections
NCP workers celebrate their party's success in Bhandara–Gondiya Lok Sabha by-elections in Bhandara district of Maharashtra on Thursday.(PTI)

The results of the Kairana and Palghar Lok Sabha seats summarise the biggest takeaway from this round of bypolls.

Palghar, Maharashtra is the only Lok Sabha seat the BJP has been able to retain in these elections. It received 31.4% of the total votes polled in Palghar. This is almost identical to the BJP’s vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP’s vote share is 46.7% in Kairana. Still it could not win the seat.

What is interesting is that the BJP’s vote share has fallen by more than 22 percentage points from the 2014 figure in Palaghar, while it has gone down by just 4 percentage points in Kairana. The difference in the degree of opposition unity explains the mismatch between vote share and victory/defeat for the BJP in these two seats. Had the opposition been united, it would have got an even bigger victory than Kairana in Palghar.

The writing on the wall is clear: a united opposition can inflict significant damage to the BJP’s 2014 seat tally in the next general elections.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 11:08 IST