33 wards in the State threw up one-vote margin victories

Narrow victory margins are not uncommon in first-past-the-poll electoral systems.

The results announced to 207 urban local bodies in Karnataka on Monday, however, indicate victory margins getting thinner than ever with candidates in 33 wards winning by just one vote.

10 or less margin

The margin is 10 votes or less in 167 wards. Significantly, these narrow margin victories are not restricted to just those wards where the total number of votes polled is low or the electorate itself is small.

Widespread

A look through the wards where candidates have won by narrow margins shows that it is spread across parties and across regions.

The Congress has secured one-vote victories in 11 wards scattered across Davangere, Kolar, Shimoga, Mandya, Bagalkot, Gadag, Bellary and Koppal districts.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has seven such victories in Shimoga, Kodagu, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gulbarga and Yadgir districts.

Janata Dal (Secular) candidates have won by one vote in eight wards in Kolar, Hassan, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Yadgir and Koppal districts.

The Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) has won in one ward in Shimoga district (Sorab) over the Congress rival by one vote.

The remaining are independents in this category.

Muslim-dominated wards

A close reading of the list also throws up the interesting phenomenon of the one-vote margin victories being high in Muslim-dominated wards.

This is the case in nine wards of the 33: Mulbagal, Harihar, Chennagiri, Shiralakoppa, Maddur, Indi, Ilkal, Hoovinahadagali and Gurmitkal.

Contributing factors

Major factor that has contributed to narrow margins is the multi-cornered contest observed in several places, particularly with the two new entrants — KJP, headed by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Badavara Shramikara Raithara (BSR) Congress, founded by the former Minister B. Sriramulu — dividing votes.

A large number of independents in the fray this time, adding up to 5,900, also contributed to this.

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