Lok Sabha polls 2019: Myth and reality of vote banks

An analysis of vote shares secured by parties in different elections indicates that vote shares are not a stable stock. Voters’ preferences change, making it a difficult task to predict.

Published: 04th March 2019 05:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2019 05:04 AM   |  A+A-

DMK alliance DMK supporters

Image used for representational purpose only (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Is vote shares in past elections the sole criterion in deciding the strength of an alliance?
An analysis of vote shares secured by parties in different elections indicates that vote shares are not a stable stock. Voters’ preferences change, making it a difficult task to predict.

Take for instance the much talked about vote bank of PMK and VCK in the northern belt. In 2011, the DMK tied up with both PMK and VCK for the Assembly polls. But still, the alliance failed to impress. It managed to win only eight seats in the North and Northwest districts, out of around 110 Assembly seats in the area, spread over nearly 12 districts.

Still having doubts? The vote share of the left parties in recent elections is another example. CPM had secured 3,884 votes in RK Nagar Assembly segment, which falls in Chennai North parliamentary constituency, in 2014 parliament general election. CPI & CPM were left out of all alliances of the Dravidian majors and these two formed an alliance. Two years later, VCK, which contested in 2016 Assembly elections as part of the People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA), in which both left parties, MDMK, TMC (Moopanar) were allies. Even though more than three parties got an alliance with left parties, it managed to secure only 4,195 votes in RK Nagar Assembly constituency in 2016 general elections.

Similarly, in Vedaranyam Assembly segment, under Nagapattinam Lok Sabha constituency, the CPI candidate got 9,155 votes in 2014 parliamentary elections. But, the DMDK candidate, as part of PWA, could secure only 4,584 votes in Vedaranyam constituency in the general elections  2016, which is nearly half of the earlier vote share.

The CPI candidate secured 36,345 votes in Thiruthuraipoondi Assembly segment in 2014 parliamentary elections, but the party could manage to secure only 33,038 votes in the Assembly constituency in the 2016 elections. 

Similarly, the CPI secured 17,032 votes in Thiruvarur Assembly constituency in 2014 parliament elections, but managed to secure only 13,158 votes in 2016 Assembly elections.Similarly, votes that DMDK secured in the previous elections did not translate into votes for the BJP-led alliance in 2014 parliamentary polls and for the PWA candidates in the 2016 assembly polls. 

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