NOTA count more than the Margin of Victory in 21 constituencies of Bihar

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In part 2 of the series on statistical highlights of the Bihar 2015 elections, we look at victory margins & NOTA. The Victory Margin of the Grand Alliance was close to an average of 20000 per seat, almost 7500 more than the victory margin of the NDA. This is the first election after the NOTA symbol was introduced on the EVMs. To everyone’s surprise, NOTA polled 2.5% of the total vote and NOTA count was more than the victory margin in 21 of the constituencies.

In part 1, we looked at the vote share, strike rate & the performance of both the major alliances in reserved seats. In this piece, we look at the victory margin, impact of NOTA etc.

The Victory Margin

Though the election was billed as a close contest, the victory margins suggest otherwise. Only 8 seats were won with a margin of less than 1000 votes. Almost 87% of the seats were won with a margin of more than 5000 votes and 70% of the seats were won with a margin of more than 10000 votes. Close to 19% seats were won with a margin of more than 30000 votes and six seats were won with a margin of more than 50000 votes. In fact, all the six seats won with a margin of more than 50000 votes went to the Grand Alliance (GA). NDA won only three seats with a margin of more than 30000 votes while the Grand Alliance won 41 seats with a margin of more than 30000 votes.

Margin of VictoryNumber of SeatsPercentage of Seats
Less than 1000 votes83.3%
Between 1000 and 5000 Votes249.9%
Between 5000 and 10000 votes4116.9%
Between 10000 and 20000 votes8032.9%
Between 20000 and 300004518.5%
More than 30000 votes4518.5%
More than 50000 votes62.5%

The Victory Margin of Alliances

The scale of the Grand Alliance’s victory was evident even in the victory margin. While the victory margin of the GA was an average of 19933 votes per seat, the victory margin of the NDA was only an average of 12360 per seat. The LJP and the HAM have high victory margins because they won in only 2 and 1 seat respectively. On the whole, the average victory margin of the GA more than the average victory margin of the NDA by about 7500 votes.

The NDA came second in 175 seats and its losing margin was close to the victory margin of the GA. The average losing margin of the NDA was 19538 compared to the average losing margin of 12583 for the GA. The GA came second in 59 seats. The GA’s victory margin was more than the average while its losing margin was less than the average.

PartyAvg Victory Margin2nd Place in how many seatsAvg Losing Margin
BJP1180410216945
LJP241073623612
HAM294081824313
RLSP68371921220
NDA1236017519538
JD(U)212022812730
RJD19852198525
INC168361218666
GA199335912583
Total18027NA18027

NOTA count in bihar elections_averaga winning and losing margins

BJP won half the seats with a margin of less than 10000 votes

BJP won 30 of the 53 seats with less than a margin of the 10000 votes or less than 5% of the votes polled in most constituencies. Unlike the BJP, all the parties of the GA won more than 70% of the seats with a margin of more than 10000 votes.  In fact, JD(U) won 47% of the seats with a margin of more than 20000 votes.

Victory Margins of Different Parties
PartyLess than 5000 votesBetween 5000 to 10000 votesBetween 10000 and 20000 votesMore than 20000 votesTotal Seats Won
BJP121814953
JD(U)610223371
RJD85323580
INC4511727

NOTA count in bihar elections_victory margins of seats won by various parties

Impact of NOTA

This is the first election after the Election Commission of India (ECI) has introduced the NOTA symbol. The EVMs had a NOTA symbol along with the symbols of all the contesting parties & independents. The NOTA symbol seems to have had an impact in this election with close to 9.5 lakh voters opting for NOTA, which is 2.5% of the total votes polled. This is more than the vote polled by the HAM. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, only 1% of all the voters chose NOTA when there was no symbol.

NOTA count in bihar elections_nota symbol

The victory margin in 21 seats was less than NOTA count

What is even more interesting is that the number of votes polled for NOTA was more than the victory margin in 21 seats or close to 9% of all the seats.

NOTA count in bihar elections_number of seats won with a margin less than nota_1

BJP won from 7 such seats while JD(U)  won from 5 such seats. On the other hand, RJD won 6 such seats. The highest NOTA count was in Warisnagar constituency where NOTA polled 9551 votes (the margin of victory here was more than 50000 votes). NOTA polled an average of 4000 votes in all the constituencies and polled more than 5000 votes in 72 constituencies.

Here is the list of those 21 constituencies where the NOTA count was more than the margin of victory.

S NoName of the ConstituencyMargin of VictoryNOTA Votes
1Kuchaikote35627512
2Sheohar4614383
3Tarari2723858
4Nalanda29966531
5Chanpatia4644506
6Biharsharif23405191
7Sikta28355579
8Arrah6663203
9Chainpur6713074
10Sherghati48346482
11Siwan35345119
12Baruraj49096208
13Amnour52516447
14Banmankhi (SC)7081859
15Rajauli (SC)46155541
16Barauli504988
17Kasba17942058
18Jhanjharpur8341044
19Raxaul31693310
20Gobindpur43995411
21Dehri38984458
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5 Comments

  1. Hi Rakesh, I was looking into the NOTA data for a project and by my count there seems to be only 21 constituencies where NOTA exceeded winning margins. Moreover, our lists also vary. I am writing here to check whether there is a difference in the sources we used. My list includes Gobindpur and Dehri, which are missing from yours.

    If my source is right or hasn’t been revised, then could you please check your NOTA count for Harlakhi, Gaighat and Dinara? The NOTA numbers mentioned for these constituencies seem to be those of Harnaut, Garkha and Dumraon respectively instead.

    Also there are two constituencies with the name Pipra (AC no. 17 and 42), and therefore the numbers seemed to have been mixed up here. By my count, both these constituencies do not make the cut here.

    Would love to hear from you to double-check my source 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thanks for bringing it to our notice. We had done this analysis just a day after the results and the numbers were taken from the results website. There seems to be some reconciliation and that’s why the issue with numbers. We have corrected the same.

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