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What is the highest ever vote share of the Winner in the Presidential Election?

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Droupadi Murmu will swear in as the 15th President of India after she won the elections with a vote share of 64.03%. This incidentally is the lowest vote share for a winner since 1969. The highest ever vote share for a winner was 98.99%, secured by Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1957.

As expected, Droupadi Murmu, the candidate proposed by the BJP led NDA has won the election to the President of India. She polled a total of 6,76,803 worth of votes while her opponent Yashwant Sinha polled 3,80,177 worth of votes. Though she had an easy win, Droupadi Murmu’s vote share of 64.03% was the lowest for a winner since the 1969, even lower than the vote share of Ram Nath Kovind.  But what is the highest ever vote share in the presidential election and when?

Best ever voter turnout in 2017

The 2017 election saw a total of 1069358 votes being polled in terms of value. Incidentally, this is the best ever in the history of the election to the President though the composition of the electoral college has remained unchanged since 2002. The election was unanimous in 1977 when only one candidate Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was in fray after the rejection of invalid nominations. In terms of value, over 10 lakh votes were polled in eight (8) different elections starting with the 8th Presidential election in 1982. The number of votes was more than 10 lakh in every subsequent election except 2007 when Prathiba Patil was elected as the President. The number of votes polled was lowest in 1957 since the electoral college had fewer members and also the value of the vote was far lesser than the current value.

Droupadi Murmu’s vote share lowest in more than 40 years

Out of the 15 elections to the President of India (barring the unanimous election in 1977), the winner’s vote share was more than 90% on only 3 occasions. The highest ever vote share was for Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1957 where he secured 98.99% of the total votes polled. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s vote share in 1962 was 98.25%, the second highest of all time. After these two, the only person who secured more than 90% was K.R.Narayanan in 1997 with a 94.97% vote share. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam also secured close to 90% vote share, 89.58% to be precise, in 2002. These high vote shares were possible because of support to a candidate from across the political spectrum. The closer contests were because of the presence of candidates supported by multiple political parties.

The lowest ever vote share of first preferential votes for a winner was in 1969 when V.V.Giri could secure only 48.01% of the first preferential vote. This is the only election when the second preferential votes had to be counted.

Droupadi Murmu’s vote share of 64.03% in 2022 is the lowest for a winner since 1969. Her vote share is slightly less than that of Ram Nath Kovind’s in 2017 when he secured a vote share of 65.65%. Only two other Presidents secured a lower vote share than Murmu. Dr. Zakir Hussain in 1967, and V.V.Giri in 1969. These were the only two occasions when the winner secured less than 60% of the first preferential vote. Yashwant Sinha secured a vote share of 35.97% in 2022 which is the 3rd highest in the history for a second place candidate.

Featured Image: Presidential Election vote share

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