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

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 Victory Number of Seats Percentage of Seats
Less than 1000 votes 8 3.3%
Between 1000 and 5000 Votes 24 9.9%
Between 5000 and 10000 votes 41 16.9%
Between 10000 and 20000 votes 80 32.9%
Between 20000 and 30000 45 18.5%
More than 30000 votes 45 18.5%
More than 50000 votes 6 2.5%

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.

Party Avg Victory Margin 2nd Place in how many seats Avg Losing Margin
BJP 11804 102 16945
LJP 24107 36 23612
HAM 29408 18 24313
RLSP 6837 19 21220
NDA 12360 175 19538
JD(U) 21202 28 12730
RJD 19852 19 8525
INC 16836 12 18666
GA 19933 59 12583
Total 18027 NA 18027

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
Party Less than 5000 votes Between 5000 to 10000 votes Between 10000 and 20000 votes More than 20000 votes Total Seats Won
BJP 12 18 14 9 53
JD(U) 6 10 22 33 71
RJD 8 5 32 35 80
INC 4 5 11 7 27

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.

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.

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 No Name of the Constituency Margin of Victory NOTA Votes
1 Kuchaikote 3562 7512
2 Sheohar 461 4383
3 Tarari 272 3858
4 Nalanda 2996 6531
5 Chanpatia 464 4506
6 Biharsharif 2340 5191
7 Sikta 2835 5579
8 Arrah 666 3203
9 Chainpur 671 3074
10 Sherghati 4834 6482
11 Siwan 3534 5119
12 Baruraj 4909 6208
13 Amnour 5251 6447
14 Banmankhi (SC) 708 1859
15 Rajauli (SC) 4615 5541
16 Barauli 504 988
17 Kasba 1794 2058
18 Jhanjharpur 834 1044
19 Raxaul 3169 3310
20 Gobindpur 4399 5411
21 Dehri 3898 4458