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Narrow margins may again swing results

A positive or adverse swing between 1 and 2.5 per cent can make or mar the electoral prospects of BJP and Congress candidates in almost half of the state's 320 assembly seats.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2003 19:54 IST

Narrow margins have been playing a crucial role in swinging the results in Madhya Pradesh elections over last few elections.

A positive or adverse swing between 1 and 2.5 per cent can make or mar the electoral prospects of the candidates of the two main contending parties -- the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party -- in almost half of the 320 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, say experts.

There is no wave in favour of any party this time and the personal image of candidates and local issues dominate the poll scene.

A close analysis of the last assembly election, indicates that about 90 seats were decided by a swing below 1.5 per cent. This is considered significant in view of the nail-biting finish expected in most of the constituencies in the coming elections in the state.

The victory margin in more than 140 constituencies was below 6,000 votes, with the margin of the winner below 3,000 votes for 90 seats and less than 1,000 for at least 10 seats.

While the Congress fared badly in the 1996 and 1998 Lok Sabha elections, it did well in Assembly bypolls and panchayat elections held during the past five years.

This time, the prospects of the Congress in the assembly election mainly depends on the extent of division of its votes in view of the presence of party rebels contesting as independents.

Mahakaushal and Vindhyanchal regions are likely to provide mixed results for the two parties, says the experts.

During the BJP wave in the 1990 assembly polls, which recorded 54 per cent voter turnout, more than 100 candidates had won by a margin of less than 5,000 votes.

In the 1990 elections, as many as 220 of the 269 BJP candidates had emerged victorious, while the Congress could win only 56 seats. About a dozen candidates won by a margin of less than 500 votes and 55 with a margin of less than 3,000.

In the 1993 assembly polls, the margin of victory was less than 5,000 in about 100 constituencies in Chhattisgarh (then a part of MP), Mahakaushal and Madhya Bharat regions, 25 in Chambal and Bundelkhand regions and 15 in Vindhya region.

First Published: Oct 15, 2003 13:00 IST