While the Gujarat Assembly elections of 2017 proved to be a close affair with the BJP emerging victorious for the sixth consecutive time, the finer details reveal some fascinating trends.
NOTA (None of The Above) received a significant chunk of votes in the state (1.8 per cent), more than any other party in the fray barring the BJP and Congress. It resulted in the number of votes for NOTA being more than the victory margin in 30 seats.
Of these 30 seats, 15 went to the BJP, 13 to the Congress and the rest to Independent candidates. The BJP was the runner-up in both places where Independents had won. So in effect, both the BJP and Congress lost 15 seats each where NOTA polled more than the victory margin.
BJP won 15 of these seats
Of the 15 seats won by the BJP where NOTA polled more than the victory margin, the difference in the NOTA votes and margin was more than 1,000 in seven constituencies and less than 500 in the remaining eight. This difference was the greatest in Godhra where the victory margin was a mere 158 votes while NOTA polled 3,050 votes. In Dholka as well, the victory margin was only 327 while NOTA polled 2,347 votes.
Congress won 13 of these seats, Independents won 2
Of the 13 seats won by the Congress where NOTA polled more than the victory margin, the difference in the NOTA votes and margin was more than 1,000 in nine constituencies and less than 100 in the remaining four. The difference was less than 1,000 in both seats won by Independents. This difference was the greatest in Chhota Udaipur where the victory margin was a mere 1,093 votes while NOTA polled 5,870 votes. In Kaprada, the victory margin was only 170 while NOTA polled 3,868. In Jetpur, the victory margin was 3,052 while NOTA polled 6,155.
Gujarat second only to Bihar in percentage of votes for NOTA
Elections took place in 13 states/UTs after the dedicated NOTA symbol was introduced in 2015. The symbol for NOTA was first introduced in the Bihar Assembly elections that year and received 2.48 per cent of the votes. After Bihar, it is the Gujarat Assembly elections this year where NOTA received 1.8 per cent of the vote.
In Gujarat, NOTA received more than 5,000 votes in as many as 10 constituencies, more than 4,000 votes in 28 constituencies and more than 3,000 votes in almost half (87) of the total constituencies. NOTA stood third in terms of votes polled in more than 100 constituencies of the state. On the other hand, NOTA polled only 0.9 per cent votes in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections this year.
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