Erode (East) has, on an average, recorded a voter turnout of 70% since the constituency was created during the 2008 delimitation.
In the last 15 years, it faced six elections — three as an Assembly constituency (2011, 2016 and 2021) and the other three as a segment of the Erode Lok Sabha constituency (2009, 2014 and 2019). In fact, after 2014, its turnout did not exceed the 70% mark.
An analysis of the data of the voter turnout and the votes polled by parties reveals that the highest turnout was 77.6% in the 2011 Assembly election, when Housing Minister S. Muthusamy, as the DMK nominee, lost to V.C. Chandhirakumar of the DMDK, who later joined the DMK. In the Lok Sabha election, the highest turnout recorded by the segment was 73.5% in 2009.
When pointed out that Erode (East)’s average voter turnout was 70%, Mr. Muthusamy, in a chat with The Hindu, says this is characteristic of an urban constituency, as a portion of the electors may be working somewhere else. The situation is in contrast to a rural constituency, where the predominant section of electors chooses to remain.
As for the parties’ performance, the winner or the top contestant has secured an average of 63,646 votes since 2008. In absolute terms, the highest was 79,582 votes secured by A. Ganeshamurthi, who contested as a nominee of the DMK in the 2019 Lok Sabha election despite belonging to the MDMK. Mr. Ganeshamurthi represents Erode in Parliament.
Without hazarding a guess about the turnout, Mr. Muthusamy feels, “We expect a higher turnout this time, which will, in turn, be advantageous to us.” In a by-election, a higher turnout has been a norm in the State.
The AIADMK’s veteran and former School Education Minister, K.A. Sengottaiyan, hopes his party’s nominee will emerge victorious in view of the “dissatisfaction” among the voters with the DMK government.
Except in the 2021 Assembly election, “the constituency has generally been favourable to us,” he says.
Pointing out that Erode district has been a stronghold of the AIADMK, the former Minister recalls that even in the absence of the ‘two leaves’ symbol in the 1989 Assembly election, “we won seven out of 11 seats” in the then Periyar district.
In two other seats, the party lost by a narrow margin. At that time, the symbols of ‘a pair of pigeons’ and ‘rooster’ were assigned to the AIADMK groups led by Janaki Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa respectively. Mr. Sengottaiyan, who was in the Jayalalithaa group, was elected from Gobichettipalayam.
According to the latest electoral data, Erode (East) has 2,26,876 voters.