Phase 3 of the fiercely fought Bihar elections is scheduled for tomorrow wherein 50 seats covering 6 districts will go to polls.  1.45 crore voters are entitled to exercise their franchise in the six districts of Bhojpur, Buxar, Nalanda, Patna, Saran and Vaishali. In the last state elections in 2010 while NDA lead in Bhojpur, Janata alliance was leading in 5 districts as shown below and Buxar was a tie.

District wise – Seat wise Position in 2010 State Polls

District Total NDA Janata Alliance
Saran 10 4 6
Bhojpur 7 4 3
Buxar 4 2 2
Nalanda 7 1 6
Patna 14 6 8
Vaishali 8 3 5

Source: politicalbaaba.com

Dalits / Mahadalits have significant presence (15%-20% of population ) in 40/50 seats and will play an important role in determining the winner. Muslim population in none of the seats is higher than their average 16.5% population in the state and it is in the range of 7%-10% in these seats. So they are unlikely to influence the outcome alone in any seat.

District wise Mahadalit & SC/ST population

District Muslim SC/ST
Saran 6.2% 12.2%
Bhojpur 7.3% 15.7%
Buxar 10.4% 14.7%
Nalanda 7.5% 20.0%
Patna 7.8% 15.7%
Vaishali 9.5% 20.8%

Source: politicalbaaba.com

A total of 808 candidates are in the fray for the third phase of polls (average 16 per seat, higher than 12 of Phase I & 14 of Phase 2). The average turnout in these 50 seats was 50.8% in 2010 assembly polls. While Nalanda recorded the lowest turnout (48.5%), Vaishali recorded the highest turnout (53.8%). In Lok Sabha polls held in May 2014, the turnout increased to 51.9% with the same lowest and highest polling districts.

The main contest is between Bhartiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance and Nitish / Lalu led grand Janata alliance which consists of Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress. BSP & Left Front have a decent presence in these seats having finished 3rd in 5 and 8 seats respectively in 2010.

For seat wise alliance wise caste wise candidate list, winner, runner up, turnout and much more please see this google doc shared by Politicalbaaba (PB) below:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vVEQdMOhWZouUiIiKUCs15-F_ESdIPDWNmN-vVWrf68/edit?usp=sharing

Janata alliance has a lot at stake in this phase as it won 30 seats in 2010 assembly polls (JDU 23, RJD 7) though fighting separately and not as partners. NDA won 20 seats all by BJP. Congress and RJD finished 2nd in 25 seats and in half of these seats they were handed defeat at the hands of JDU.

From Janata alliance, RJD is contesting on half the seats (25), JDU on 18 and Congress on 7. From NDA, BJP is fighting on 34 (70%), LJP 8 seats, HAM 4 seats and RLSP 4 seats. JDU has dropped 5 of its sitting MLAs and is facing rebellion in some seats.

Seat wise in 2010 assembly polls

Party Winner Runner Up 3rd
JDU 23 6 0
RJD 7 23 3
INC 0 2 11
BJP 20 1 0
LJP 0 14 2
IND 0 4 20
Left Front 0 0 8
Others 0 0 1
BSP 0 0 5
Total 50 50 50

Source: politicalbaaba.com

In Lok Sabha polls held in May 2014, NDA was leading in 37 seats (BJP 25, LJP 12) and Janata alliance in 13 (RJD 9, JDU 4) as shown below. Janata alliance was runner up in 35 seats (RJD 18, Congress 12 and JDU 5). It may be noted that while RJD fought in alliance with Congress, JDU fought LS polls along with CPI.

If we aggregate the vote share of JDU, RJD and Congress, then Janata alliance would be leading in 28 seats and NDA in 22 seats only. That is NDA lead comes down from 37 to 22. Though this may not be the west way to analyze it. Assumption that seamless transfer of votes will happen from JDU to RJD / Congress and vice-a-versa is flawed.

Assembly segment wise leads in 2014 LS polls

Party Winner Runner Up If JDU+Cong+INC fought together
JDU 4 5 7
RJD 9 18 18
INC 0 12 3
BJP 25 9 15
LJP 12 4 7
BSP 0 2 0
Total 50 50 50

Source: politicalbaaba.com

In the 22 seats NDA was leading in Lok Sabha it had an average vote share advantage of 15% (difficult for Janata alliance to negate this advantage). In the 15 seats which swing to Janata alliance after aggregating JDU+Cong+RJD votes on each seat, BJP was trailing, on an average by only  5.9%. This is the lowest vote share gap in the three phases which have gone to polls in seats which have swung in Janata’s favour because of aggregation. For instance it was lagging by 9.7% votes in such type of seats in Phase 2.

Assembly segment wise margins in terms of vote shares in 2014 LS polls

Victory Margin 0-5% 5-10% >10%
NDA 2 7 13
Janata 6 7 15

Source: politicalbaaba.com

7 of these seats witnessed tight contest in 2010 with victory margins of less than 3,000 votes. In 9 seats the victory margin was less than 5,000 votes. 6 of these tight contests were won by Janata alliance, 2 by NDA and 1 by Others. 5,000 is considered a decent margin in assembly polls. Half of the seats were decided by more than 10,000 votes difference, denoting comfortable wins. In the seats which Janata alliance won, the average margin was 10,620 while in the seats which NDA won the average margin was higher at 11,043 votes. With two major contenders this time and 2-3 spoilers, will margins reduce further, it remains to be seen?

Victory margins in terms of votes in 2010 state polls

Victory Margin 0-3,000 3-5,000 5-10,000 >10,000
No. of Seats 4 2 10 34

Source: politicalbaaba.com

Prominent candidates whose fate will be decided from NDA are Nand Kishore Yadav (LoP) and BJP’s Yadav face in Bihar. From Janata alliance are Lalu’s two sons Tejaswi and Tejpratap and JDU’s Shyam Rajak.

Almost all parties are facing rebel candidates (13 / 50 seats based on Dainik Jagran news article). 16 sitting MLAs have been denied tickets (due to whatever reason) and this one of the reasons for high number of rebels.

This phase is very important for both alliances. Better performance in these seats, will give a lead to either alliance in earlier phases. While Janata would want to maintain its 2010 performance (30 seats), NDA would like to maintain its Lok Sabha leads in these assembly segments (37 seats). A very keen battle ahead….

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