NOTA polled 0.46% vote share in the recently concluded Delhi assembly elections. Though this is slightly more than the 0.39% polled in 2015, NOTA doesn’t have many takers in Delhi despite being an Urban state.
In the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a landslide by winning 62 out of the 70 assembly seats. The AAP polled 53.6% of the total votes polled, followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which polled 38.5% of the total vote share. The BJP won the remaining 8 seats. The vote share of AAP has reduced by 0.7% and that of BJP increased by 6.3% compared to the 2015 Assembly elections.
As far as ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) is concerned, the 2020 Delhi assembly elections are the 45th assembly elections since the inception of NOTA in 2013. The 2014 & 2019 Lok Sabha Elections also included the NOTA option on the EVM. This is the 3rd Assembly elections in Delhi, after NOTA was introduced in 2013. In that sense, Delhi is the only place where NOTA was on the EVM in three different assembly elections. So, what is the NOTA story of the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections? Here is a detailed analysis.
Negligible increase in the vote share of NOTA compared to 2015 Assembly elections
The share of NOTA votes has been traditionally less in Delhi Assembly elections.
- In 2013, when NOTA was introduced for the first time, the share of votes polled for NOTA was 0.63%. Out of the total 78.73 lakh votes polled, NOTA received 49,884 votes.
- During the 2015 elections, the share of NOTA fell to nearly with only 0.39%. Even though the total number of votes polled increased to 89.78 lakhs in 2015, only 35,897 voters opted for NOTA.
As noted in an earlier story on Factly, the share of NOTA has been decreasing over the years.
However, the share of NOTA votes in 2020 Delhi Assembly elections has slightly improved compared to previous election. NOTA polled 43,108 votes out of the total 92.85 lakh votes polled i.e. 0.46%. While it is not as high as the share in 2013, it has improved compared to 2015. Furthermore, 2020 is the first assembly elections in Delhi post the introduction of a dedicated symbol for NOTA in 2015.
Meanwhile, the vote share of NOTA has also increased in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, compared to 2014. During 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NOTA polled 0.47% across the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi, while this increased to 0.52% in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Share of NOTA for General Seats on par with Reserved seats
Delhi Legislative Assembly has 12 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) out of the total 70 seats. Rest of the 58 seats are general seats.
- In 2013 Assembly elections, SC reserved seats had a higher share of NOTA votes. Around 10 thousand votes were polled for NOTA out of the total 13 lakh votes polled in these constituencies i.e. 0.78 % of the vote share. Meanwhile General Category seats had 0.59% of their votes polled for NOTA.
- The share has dropped drastically in the next assembly elections i.e. 2015. Among the 12 SC reserved seats, the share of NOTA was only 0.41% while among the General Seats it was 0.40%.
- In the Assembly elections held in 2020, the NOTA share has slightly improved with 0.47% and 0.46% respectively in reserved and general category seats.
Unlike the significant difference in NOTA vote share between Reserved and General seats in 2013 Delhi assembly elections, the difference is negligible in other two assembly elections i.e. 2015 and 2020.
As for Lok Sabha constituencies, Delhi has one reserved seat out of the 7 Lok Sabha constituencies.
- North West Delhi, the SC reserved Lok Sabha Seat saw 0.65% of the votes polled for NOTA in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This share has increased in 2019 Lok Sabha elections to 0.72%.
- In the remaining 6 Lok Sabha seats, 0.44% of votes were polled for NOTA in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which increased to 0.50% in 2019 elections.
Among these 6 constituencies, New Delhi Constituency has the highest NOTA share, at par with the reserved North West Delhi with 0.70%. It was also the higher NOTA polling General seat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 0.58%.
In none of the seats, NOTA polled more than the Victory margin in 2020
Like in the case of 2015 assembly elections, even in the 2020 Delhi assembly elections, NOTA votes did not exceed the victory margin in any of the seats.
The highest place for NOTA in an assembly constituency in the 2020 elections was 3rd. This was in Palam which is a general category seat. The winner from AAP polled around 92 thousand votes followed by the candidate from BJP who polled around 60 thousand votes. There were 848 votes polled for NOTA. Indian National Congress, which was in third position in most of the seats has not contested from this seat.
The highest vote share of NOTA in an assembly constituency in 2020 was in Model Town where 0.84% of votes went to NOTA. This constituency was also the highest in 2015 with 0.7% votes for NOTA.
In terms of victory margins, the closest NOTA has polled was for Bijwasan seat in 2020, won by AAP candidate with a margin of 753 votes. There were 448 votes polled for NOTA in this constituency. However, NOTA is ranked 7th here and there were other political parties with higher votes which influenced the final outcome.
Another constituency with a closer margin was Laxmi Nagar, won by BJP with a margin of 880 votes. NOTA has polled 550 votes here and stood in 4th position.
However, in 2013 Delhi Assembly elections there were 4 constituencies which has NOTA polling higher seats than that of the victory margin. In 2013, there were 4 constituencies which polled more than 1% for NOTA with highest being 1.2% in Rajouri Garden & Sultanpur Majra. In Model Town, NOTA polled 0.8% of the votes in 2013.
In both the Lok Sabha elections i.e. 2014 and 2015, the victory margin is significantly higher than that of the votes polled by NOTA across all the seven constituencies.
Despite being largely Urban, NOTA finds no takers
Bucking the trend where NOTA polls significantly more votes in urban areas, the NOTA story in Delhi presents a completely different picture. Despite being an urban state, NOTA hasn’t polled a significant share from 2013.
The 2015 elections could be seen as a decisive vote in favour of AAP, after the hung assembly that the 2013 assembly elections threw up. The electorate could have been decisive in their voting in 2015 and this could have had an impact on the NOTA vote.
Even in 2020, the voting was largely bi-polar & decisive with the top two parties/alliances polling close to 94% of the total vote. This could have worked against NOTA.
The parity between General and Reserved seats in terms of NOTA votes, both in the 2015 & 2020 assembly elections is different from the trend observed in other parts of the country where NOTA polls significantly more in reserved constituencies. All in all, NOTA doesn’t seem to have many takers in Delhi.
Featured Image: Share of NOTA in Delhi Elections