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September 25, 2014 Rukmini. S
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And one reason the Cong-NCP negotiations were anybody’s game

File picture shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at an event in Mumbai
PTI File picture shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at an event in Mumbai

As both coalitions fall in Maharashtra, here’s a question: how many seats did each party in the two former alliances actually deserve to get? The answer to that is obviously political. But here are two broad trends that electoral data for the last 20 years indicate.

Trend # 1: Four Reasons the BJP was right to want more seats

1. Narrowing assembly gap

The saffron alliance’s formula has been that the BJP contests more seats in Lok Sabha elections, and the Shiv Sena gets more seats in the assembly elections. But over the years, the gap in the number of seats won by the BJP and Sena has been narrowing, and the BJP’s strike rate in assembly elections is better than the Sena’s.

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2. Except for 2004, the BJP also wins its seats with bigger margins than the Shiv Sena

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3. The unprecedented 2014 result

But how can we know that the BJP can win seats in assembly constituencies that it hasn’t contested in the past? That’s where the 2014 Lok Sabha election results help.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP’s voteshare hit its highest ever mark in Maharashtra at 27.32%. Shiv Sena’s voteshare also rose to 20.63%, but it has been close before.

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4. Winning strike rate

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 22 out of 23 seats, with a ‘strike rate’ over 95%, the highest that any party has had in Maharashtra in the last 20 years

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Trend #2: It was anyone’s game in the NCP-Congress alliance

The Congress has always contested more seats than the NCP in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections, but there isn’t a lot to separate their performances

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As you can see, that graph’s a bit of an undifferentiated mess, and I have a similar one for Lok Sabha elections.

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Once again, no clear trends – and it’s a similar issue with voteshares. This one, was anybody’s game.

The greatest upside that I can see from the alliances failing? After 20 years, we'll know exactly where each party stands.

September 20, 2014 T. Ramachandran
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September 18, 2014 Rukmini S.
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