It must be noted, for the state as a whole the vote share of BJP is 49.1% in these polls which shows a slight improvement over the 47.9% it achieved in 2012. Yet, it’s a huge comedown if it is compared with the 59.1% share it got in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
While we get the analysis of Gujarat results along rural-urban aspects, reserved and unreserved seats or by regions, or by the seat tallies, it would convey the mark that there are sharp differences in the way different parts or sections of the state have voted this time. But when we look at the vote shares, the surprising pattern emerges. Across all of these parameters, the vote share of BJP is higher than that of the Congress.
This stands correct for every region, it is true for the rural/urban categories or for SC or ST reserved seats or unreserved seats. Not to mention, the gap between the vote shares of the two parties differ in each of these cases, but in every one of them, Congress stands behind BJP.
It just comes as a surprise given the fact that seat shares where, for that matter, Congress has defeated heavily the ruling party in the rural areas. It must be noted, for the state as a whole the vote share of BJP is 49.1% in these polls which shows a slight improvement over the 47.9% it achieved in 2012. Yet, it’s a huge comedown if it is compared with the 59.1% share it got in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The opposition party, Congress too improved its vote share from 38.9% five years ago to 41.4% this time. Still, it is nearly 8 percentage points behind BJP. In a bipolar election, a gap of this much intensity might yield a fairly big win for the leading party, what had happened last time. Yet this time, the fight became very close for BJP that finished just seven seats above the majority mark needed.
One reason that seems lucid enough is, much of this vote share came from building up huge wins in the cities. Among the 33 urban seats it won, its average winning margin was about 47,400.
In the same manner, it won its semi-urban seats by margins of over 26,000 votes on an average. These wins are impressive yet it was an example of a surplus of votes not really adding to the seats.
while the Congress party’s votes were much more evenly spread. As a result, it grabbed more seats than BJP even in the regions where its vote share was actually lower than the saffron party. The most suitable example of this was Saurashtra, where BJP managed to win just 23 seats compared to 30 for Congress though its vote share of 45.9% was higher than the 45.5% won by Congress.
The scenario in North Gujarat was not too different either. BJP here had managed to get a 45.1% vote share compared to Congress’s 44.9%, still, it couldn’t surpass the winning wheel of Congress and won fewer seats — 14 to 17.
In the year 2012, this was the only region where Congress had done better than BJP’s vote share but the seat tallies fell out to be almost identical to the current ones. After taking the note, how much had been made against the BJP because of the Patidar anger in these elections, it is ironical to see that the 52 seats in which Patidars form a significant chunk of the electorate were the ones in which BJP won a majority of votes (50.3%) and of seats (28). Out of the 28 Patidar seats won by BJP, only nine fell in the Kutch-Saurashtra region. On the other hand, Congress got 17 of the 23 in Kutch-Saurashtra where the patidars are pretty much dominant.