Bypoll results don’t mirror general election trend, reveal previous data in TN

Likewise, when Edappadi K Palaniswami was the CM, the state witnessed bypolls for 22 assembly seats that were held simultaneously with the 2019 parliament election.

Published: 04th March 2023 06:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2023 06:24 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representationl purpose only. (File Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Going by the data in the past, the outcome of by-elections has not always been reflected in the subsequent general elections. Despite winning nine assembly seats in the 2019 bypoll, AIADMK managed to secure only 4 out of the same 9 seats in the 2021 general election. Similarly, AMMK failed to replicate their success in the RK Nagar constituency in subsequent elections.

Soon after Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan marched towards victory in the Erode (East) bypoll, all the leaders of the DMK-led alliance, including CM MK Stalin, exuded their hope that the win is the precursor to a bigger victory for the Secular Progressive Alliance in the 2024 parliament election.

But the past data reveal a contrasting picture. During 2001-2004, when J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister, the state witnessed bypolls for five assembly constituencies - Andipatti, Sathankulam, Saidapet, Vaniyampadi and Atcharapakkam. The ruling AIADMK won all five seats and they also had claimed the people of Tamil Nadu are happy with the government and that the trend would reflect in the 2004 parliament general elections. But, the ruling AIADMK met with a disaster, and lost all 39 parliament seats in the 2004 election.

Likewise, when Edappadi K Palaniswami was the CM, the state witnessed bypolls for 22 assembly seats that were held simultaneously with the 2019 parliament election. Though the  ruling AIADMK won nine seats - Sholingur, Pappireddipatti, Harur, Nilakkottai, Manamadurai, Sattur, Paramakudi, Vilathikulam and Sulur in the election, they faced a huge setback in the parliament general election, losing 38 out of the total 39 seats.Though the AIADMK thought the nine seats that they won in the by-election to be their stronghold, it was not to be the case. In the next assembly election, the party managed to bag only four out of those nine seats.

Commenting on the optimism of the leaders of DMK and its allies, veteran journalist and political observer T Koodalarasan termed it is a myth believed by the winners.  The infamous Thirumangalam bypoll held on January 9, 2009, is a prime example of this. The DMK secured over 79,000 votes in the bypoll, but in the subsequent parliament elections held in April 2009, the DMK alliance candidates secured only around 66,000 votes. This indicates the mind of the voters can change within a short period.

He added the winners are of the belief that the same result would repeat in the next year’s parliamentary general election, but there is no possibility to achieve the same after 14 months. “The voters will approach every election in a different perspective, and it will reflect in the outcome.”

Another veteran political journalist, T Karthick, said after AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran emerged victorious in the RK Nagar assembly bypoll in 2017, he also expressed similar views. “However, his party was not unable to secure votes in the subsequent election. Even in RK Nagar assembly seat, they were not able to obtain enough votes to get their deposit back. Whether it is the ruling party, opposition or independent, there is only a mild chance of securing the same number of votes in the same constituency in subsequent elections,” he said.

When contacted DMK leaders declined to comment but said CM would achieve his target of winning all the parliament seats.

India Matters


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