Tamil Nadu 2016

DMK ahead of AIADMK in ‘contested vote share’

DMK supporters in tears after trends indicated a defeat for the party.  

The vote share data of the 2016 Assembly election presents a startling picture that indicates an element of anti-incumbency in the run up the polls.

The data shows that the DMK polled more votes than the AIADMK in the seats it contested but in the overall scenario, it was pulled down by its allies including the Congress.

In fact, the impact of the Congress on the outcome was much larger given that it contested 41 seats in the alliance and won just eight.

The ‘contested vote share’ data shows that the DMK polled 41.05 per cent in the 176 seats where it fielded candidates. The AIADMK on the other hand polled 40.78 per cent of the votes in the constituencies it contested though, it won many more seats.


The clincher was the poor performance of the DMK’s allies, who clearly could not hold fort in a direct contest with the AIADMK, which contested all 232 seats (including seven allies who fought on the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol) for which results were announced. The contested vote share of the Congress in the 41 seats was 36.46 per cent.

The other allies, the IUML and the PT, clocked 33.1 and 32.7 per cent respectively in the seats they fought.

The worst performer among its allies was MMK, whose contested vote share was a mere 28.67 per cent.

This had a telling impact on the overall picture. If one took all 232 seats into consideration, the performance of the allies dragged the vote share of the DMK alliance down to 39.7 per cent whereas the AIADMK got 40.8 per cent. This 1.1 per cent gap has translated into 134 seats for the AIADMK and 98 for the DMK alliance.

Also to be factored in is the impact of a multi-cornered contest.

While the DMDK has been the biggest loser, with its vote share cut to 2.4 per cent, the third front it led as a whole polled 6 per cent. But perhaps, it was the PMK which dealt a more severe blow to the DMK with 5.3 per cent vote share concentrated in the Northern region.

Psephologist Venkatesh Athreya says in a context where there is almost a bipolar contest in majority of constituencies, strong performance from a third party with strength in a particular region could swing the election either way.

“This is why I feel that we need to move towards a proportional representation system,” he adds.

While DMK polled 41.05% in 176 seats, the AIADMK polled 40.78% in 232 seats

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 12:12:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamilnadu2016/dmk-ahead-of-aiadmk-in-contested-vote-share/article8623021.ece

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