Tamil Nadu is witnessing a very closely fought election this time around. In 2011, the AIADMK alliance won a landslide winning more than 50% of the vote. But with the major allies of the AIADMK contesting separately this time around, the 69 seats that were won with a slender margin by this alliance in 2011 might hold the key.
The 2016 Tamil Nadu assembly elections were fought more closely than was thought earlier. While exit polls are divided on who is going to win, one thing is clear that it is a very closely fought election and a few percentage points of vote change will seal the deal. Analysis of the 2011 election data reveals that there are 69 such constituencies where the fortunes can swing either way because of change in alliances and a lower victory margin in 2011. These 69 constituencies may become crucial in a closely fought election.
Change in Alliances
There is a significant change in the composition of the alliances in 2016 compared to the 2011 elections. While the composition of the DMK alliance is more or less the same, the AIADMK has lost all its major allies compared to 2011. All the major constituents of the AIADMK alliance in 2011, the DMDK, CPI, CPI(M) are now part of a third front called the People’s Welfare Front (PWF). This is significant since these parties had polled about 13% of the votes in 2011.
|Year||Party||% of Votes Won||Number of Seats Won|
|2006||DMK Alliance (DMK,INC,PMK,CPI,CPI(M))||44.80%||163|
|2006||AIADMK Alliance (AIADMK,MDMK,VCK)||39.90%||69|
|2006||Others (DMDK,BJP, IND)||15.30%||2|
|2011||DMK Alliance (DMK,INC,PMK,VCK, Others)||39.50%||31|
|2011||AIADMK Alliance (AIADMK,DMDK,CPI,CPI(M),Others)||51.90%||203|
69 seats were won by the AIADMK alliance with a margin of less than 10% votes
Out of the 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, there were 69 such constituencies where the AIADMK alliance won with a margin of less than 10% of the valid vote in 2011. 4 of these were won with a victory margin of less than 1%, while 23 of them were won with a victory margin between 1% and 5%. 42 of them were won with a victory margin between 5% and 10%. With the major allies of AIADMK contesting as a third front this time around, even a minor shift of votes might alter the results, provided the DMK alliance holds onto its 2011 vote share.
Apart from these 69 seats, there are 20 other seats won by the DMDK and the left parties in 2011 with a comfortable victory margin. But these 20 seats were won in alliance with the AIADMK in 2011. Now that they are contesting separately, the split in votes might help the DMK alliance provided it holds onto its 2011 vote share.
These districts might hold the key
The 69 seats that the AIADMK alliance won in 2011 with a victory margin of less than 10% are spread across the state. But some districts may hold the key because of a larger concentration of such seats. Chennai district has 5 such seats, Cuddalore also has 6 such seats, Kancheepuram has 5, Nagapattinam has 5 and Vellore has 5 such seats. There are a few other districts like Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tirunelveli with 4 such low margin seats. The following is the list of these 69 constituencies.
|Assembly Constituency||District||Winner (2011)||Victory Margin|