Odisha: BJD pockets less seats despite polling more votes than BJP

The vote share of BJD dropped around 4.5 per cent as compared to the 2019 elections.
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BHUBANESWAR: Even as the BJD polled more votes than BJP in the Odisha Assembly elections this time, the regional party lost 62 seats as compared to its performance in 2019 in the 147-member House.

As per the final tally, BJP secured the majority with 78 seats to form the government while BJD could manage to get only 51 seats, down from 113, and Congress bagged 14.

Data compiled by the Election Commission of India (ECI) revealed around 2.5 crore voters exercised their franchise in the state Assembly election. BJD polled the highest 10,102,454 votes and BJP 10,064,827 votes with a vote share of around 40.22 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.

The vote share of BJD dropped around 4.5 per cent as compared to the 2019 elections. With around 7.5 per cent more votes than last elections, BJP added 55 seats to its previous tally of 23.

Congress, which fielded candidates in 145 seats, secured 33,31,319 votes and CPI(M) polled 93,295 votes. Congress gained five seats this time despite its vote share dropping by 2.8 per cent. It had got nine seats in the last elections.

In 2024 elections, BJD has drawn blank in Jharsuguda, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Boudh, Rayagada, Koraput and Malkangiri districts. Of the seven districts, four are dominated by tribals.

Despite crossing the half-way mark, BJP could not win a single seat from Gajapati, Rayagada, Deogarh and Nuapada districts. Congress failed to open its account in 20 districts. It, however, fared well in Rayagada by winning all the three seats and Koraput by winning three out of five Assembly segments.

Political analysts attributed the reason behind BJD pocketing less number of seats despite polling more votes to big winning margins in some segments. While the winning margin is above 10,000 in 25 seats won by BJD, it is below 10,000 in 45 seats secured by BJP. “A political party’s gain or loss of seats can be disproportionate to its vote share sometimes. If a party crosses its threshold votes, it gains disproportionately. And if its votes fall below the threshold, its seats fall. Other factors like elections mostly getting two-cornered from multi-cornered also impact how votes get converted to seats,” reasoned retired political science professor JK Mishra.

BJD’s Bari candidate Biswa Ranjan Mallick won the election with the highest margin of 51,465 votes, followed by Pradip Sahu from Begunia (47,814 votes) and Sanatan Mahakud from Champua (39,994 votes). Bhubaneswar (Central) candidate Ananta Narayan Jena won by only 37 votes. With a vote share of 45.34 per cent in Lok Sabha elections, BJP captured 20 of the 21 seats while BJD drew a blank despite polling 37.5 per cent votes.

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