Elections, India, NOTA, Political Parties, Stories

Did NOTA make an impact in the five states?


The None of the above (NOTA) option is now on the EVMs with a dedicated symbol. Out of the 822 constituencies that went to polls, NOTA count was more than the victory margin in 62 constituencies. Out of the 62, 24 constituencies each were in West Bengal & Tamil Nadu. NOTA polled close to 17 lakh votes in these 5 states.


Ever since NOTA (None of the Above) was introduced as a symbol on the EVM, there is considerable interest after every election to understand if NOTA really made any impact on the results. Election results from the 5 states that went to polls indicate that, votes polled for NOTA were more than the victory margin in 62 different constituencies out of the 822 constituencies that went to polls.

About 17 lakh vote for NOTA in these 5 states

NOTA polled about 1.25% of the total votes polled in these 5 states. In absolute numbers, this is about 17 lakh votes. Half of these votes have come from West Bengal (8.3 lakh) followed by Tamil Nadu (5.6 lakh). NOTA polled about 1.9 lakh votes in Assam & about 1.07 lakh in Kerala. NOTA polled a little more than 13000 votes in Puducherry. In terms of the vote share, NOTA’s vote share is least in Kerala (0.53%) and highest in Puducherry (1.65%). NOTA vote share is 1.52% in West Bengal and 1.3% in Tamil Nadu. NOTA’s vote share in Assam is 1.12%.

NOTA impact in 2016 Elections_NOTA vote share

48 of the 62 constituencies are from West Bengal & Tamil Nadu

Out of 822 constituencies that went to polls, 62 constituencies were such where the NOTA count was more than the victory margin. This is about 7.5% of all the constituencies. Out of the 62 constituencies, 24 each are in West Bengal & Tamil Nadu, 9 in Assam, 4 in Kerala and 1 in Puducherry. In Tamil Nadu, there are more than 10% such constituencies while in the rest of the states, this count is below 10%.

NOTA impact in 2016 Elections_Number of constituencies where NOTA Count more

AIADMK is the largest beneficiary

Out of the 62 seats where the NOTA count is more than the victory margin, 17 are won by the AIADMK, 10 each by the Trinamool Congress and the Congress. DMK won 7 such seats followed by CPI(M) that won 5 such seats. Both the BJP and RSP won 3 such seats. In fact, all the 3 seats won by RSP in these elections were won by a margin less than the NOTA count in that constituency.

NOTA impact in 2016 Elections_number of constituencies where NOTA count is more than victory margin

NOTA Vote share in majority of the constituencies was less than 1%

The highest NOTA vote share was 4.53% in the Kurseong constituency of West Bengal. Chhatna in West Bengal also had a NOTA vote share of 4.31%. In seven (7) other constituencies, NOTA vote share was between 3% and 4%. In more than 2/3rd of the constituencies, the NOTA vote share was less than 1.5%. In terms of absolute numbers, more than 7000 votes were polled for NOTA in 3 different constituencies. NOTA polled more than 5000 votes in 15 different constituencies. The NOTA count in about 23% constituencies was less than 1000.

NOTA impact in 2016 Elections_number of constituencies by NOTA vote share

NOTA impact in 2016 Elections_number of constituencies by NOTA count



About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

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