oppn parties Vote Share, First Past The Post And Post-Poll Alliance

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Vote Share, First Past The Post And Post-Poll Alliance

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About the Author

Sunil Garodia By our team of in-house writers.
Does vote share matter in first past the post system? Of course it is a barometer of popular support, but given the system India follows, it is quite deceptive and any analysis based on it does not always reflect the true mood of the people.

Take Karnataka for instance. Despite getting lesser seats than the BJP, the Congress got 38% of the popular votes while the BJP got just 36.2% and the JD(S) 18.3%. These figures can be put out to say that the Congress has greater support of the people than the BJP. This might not be entirely true. The reason is that support for the Congress might be limited to the seats where it won. It might have won those seats with a huge margin while the BJP might not have got votes there. That will skew the overall vote share in favour of the Congress. But across the state that might not be the case.

Further, when people talk about combining the vote shares of the Congress and the JD(S) to legitimize their post-poll alliance in saying that they got more than 54.5% of the popular votes, they forget that each party got the vote against the other. Hence, these votes cannot be combined to reflect public mood. Since the two did not have a pre-poll alliance, when the people voted for the Congress, they obviously voted against the JD(S) and vice versa. The coming together of these two parties to form the government does not reflect the public mandate.

The public mandate in Karnataka was definitely against the Congress. It was also not in favour of the JD(S) and it was certainly not in favour of these two parties combined. Taking the vote share and putting forward convoluted logic is not going to make a thing right when it is basically wrong. But such are the compulsions of democracy and the first past the post system that the BJP fell short and these two are combining to form the government. The least one can say is, good luck to them. The people of Karnataka want and deserve a stable government.

image courtesy: carneades.org