Karnataka election results 2023 | Party-hoppers who joined the Congress had more success than those who were fielded by BJP

70% of turncoats who joined Congress are leading in the elections, less than 6% of BJP’s turncoats are winning

May 13, 2023 01:53 pm | Updated 06:56 pm IST

Bengaluru: Congress party office on the vote counting day of Karnataka Assembly polls, in Bengaluru, Saturday, May 13, 2023.

Bengaluru: Congress party office on the vote counting day of Karnataka Assembly polls, in Bengaluru, Saturday, May 13, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

In the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections, 18 of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)‘s candidates were turncoats, while the Congress fielded 23 such candidates. A turncoat is an MLA candidate who participated in the previous election as a candidate of another recognised State/national party. 

To assess the success of the turncoats, their strike rates were considered. The strike rate is the number of seats won by turncoats as a share of seats contested by turncoats. In the 2023 polls, the Congress achieved a much higher strike rate with their turncoats with 69.6% of them leading in seats, while the BJP’s turncoats had a lower strike rate at 5.6%. 

Chart 1 shows the number of BJP candidates who are turncoats, freshers, repeaters and incumbent MLAs in the 2023 elections and their strike rates in the polls

Freshers are BJP candidates in 2023 who did not contest in Assembly polls before. Repeaters are those who have contested in Assembly polls in the past, either as BJP candidates or otherwise. Incumbents are sitting BJP MLAs or sitting MLAs from other parties. So, the turncoat list is made up of a section of repeaters (other party candidates from previous polls), and a section of incumbents (sitting MLAs from other parties). The sum of the four candidate types exceeds 100% because these categories are not mutually exclusive (for example, all incumbents are repeaters but not all repeaters are incumbents).

Among BJP candidates, sitting MLAs had the highest strike rate, followed by repeaters and freshers. Turncoats had the lowest strike rate. This shows the BJP’s strategy of fielding turncoats did not succeed in this assembly election. 

Chart 2 shows the number of Congress candidates who are turncoats, new faces, repeaters and incumbents in the 2023 elections and their strike rates in the polls

Among Congress’ candidates, sitting MLAs and repeaters had the highest strike rate of over 70%, closely followed by turncoats at 69.6%. Freshers had the lowest strike rate. This shows that fielding turncoat candidates helped the Congress significantly. 

A comparison of the strike rates of various candidate-types between the BJP and the Congress is shown in Chart 3. The debutants’ strike rate is similar for both parties. Among repeaters however, Congress had a much better strike rate. When it came to sitting MLAs who were fielded again in this election, the Congress again had a better strike rate.

Also read: Amul vs Nandini row impact: Congress emerges favourite in milk-producing districts

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