As many as 92 of the 224 members of the Karnataka Assembly got more than 50 per cent of the total votes polled in their constituencies in the 2018 elections, up from 65 in 2013 and 50 in 2008.
An analysis of the results of these three elections shows that it’s not the big two, the BJP and Congress, who have had complete and consistent dominance in their constituencies. It’s the third wheel of the Karnataka elections, the Janata Dal (Secular), that has done so, indicating its command over its strongholds. It is also the only one of the three parties with consistent rise in the number of seats where it won with more than 50 per cent of the votes.
Of the 92 candidates who won with more than half the total votes polled in 2018, 48 were from the BJP, 27 from the Congress, and 17 were JD(S) leaders.
Of the 50 candidates elected with more than 50 per cent of the votes in their constituencies in the 2008 elections, 30 were from the BJP (of its total of 110), 13 from the Congress (of its total 80), six from the JD(S) (which won 28 seats in all) and one Independent.
These 50 constituencies were spread over 23 districts, with the district of BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) accounting for most such constituencies (11) followed by three each in Mysuru and Udupi.
The emphatic victories of the JD(S) came in the districts of Ramnagar, Hassan, Mysuru and Belagavi. The BJP’s 30 were spread over 18 districts, while the Congress’s 13 came from 7 districts.
Five years later, when 65 seats saw winners who had got over 50 per cent of the votes, these were again spread over 23 districts. Of these 65 seats, 40 were won by the Congress, nine by the JD(S), eight by the BJP, four by Independents, three by the Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress (a party founded by BJP rebel B Sriramulu), and one by the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP).
However, only 21 of these 65 seats were among the 50 that had seen a similar emphatic result in 2008. Besides, in 21 of those 50 seats, the incumbents lost in 2013 despite their impressive wins in 2008.
The BJP, which had won 30 of these 50 constituencies in 2008, could retain only 12 of them, and the Congress 11 of its 13. The JD(S) though retained all but 1 of its 6 seats with similar big wins, apart from increasing its tally of such seats.
The JD(S) big victories again came from a small set of districts as in 2008 — BBMP, Hassan, Kolar, Mysore, Raichur and Ramanagar.
While the 2018 results would lead to constant horsetrading and eventual change of government within a year, the Assembly elections saw as many as 92 winners with over 50 per cent of the votes.
Of these 92 seats, the BJP won 48, the Congress 27 and the JD(S) 17. The results hence showed a massive rise in sweeps by the BJP and JD(S) in seats, and a steep fall in similar performance by the Congress.
Only 35 of the 65 candidates who had won in 2013 by more than half the votes polled in their constituencies, won in 2018. Of these 35, 22 belonged to the Congress, followed by 6 each of the BJP and JD(S), and 1 Independent.
This means the JD(S) again managed to retain most of the seats it had won in the 2013 elections with equally big margins.
The JD(S) sweeps came across eight districts this time — Bangalore Rural, BBMP, Gulbarga, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Ramnagar, and Tumkur districts.