As many as 49 seats changed hands between the Opposition Congress and ruling BJP in the Gujarat assembly elections that returned the BJP to power Monday.
Of the 49, Congress wrested 33 seats that the BJP won in the 2012 assembly elections while the BJP snatched 16 seats from the Congress. A scrutiny of the results data of 2017 and 2012 shows that 41 of the 49 seats that changed hands were in rural areas.
The 33 seats that the Congress grabbed from the BJP took its tally to 77 in the House of 182. And the 16 that the BJP wrested from the Congress helped it go past the halfway mark to end with 99 seats. In the previous assembly elections, the BJP had come second on all these seats.
The Congress won these 33 seats with an average victory margin of 12,033 votes. The BJP had taken these 33 seats in 2012 with an average victory margin of 12,517 votes.
For the Congress, the highest victory margin of 29,339 votes was in Jamalpur-Khadia while its lowest victory margin was 972 in Deodar. Of these 33 seats, Congress won 15 in Saurashtra, 10 in North Gujarat, four in Central Gujarat, three in South Gujarat and one in Kutchh — 27 were rural seats while the remaining six urban. Four of these were reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) while three for Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Of the 16 seats that the BJP snatched from Congress, seven were in North Gujarat, four each in Central Gujarat and Saurashtra and one in South Gujarat. Fourteen were rural seats and two urban. The BJP recorded an average victory margin of 12,909 votes while Congress had won these seats in 2012 with an average margin of 8,245 votes. Among these 16 seats, three were reserved for STs while one for SCs.
The largest victory margin among these 16 seats was in Jamnagar North — 40,963 votes. The narrowest win was in Godhra where 258 votes made the difference.
Of the 115 seats the BJP won in 2012, the party retained 81 in 2017 with an average victory margin of 33,543 votes — better than the average victory margin of 32,118 votes the party recorded across these seats in 2012.
Of the 61 seats it had won in 2012, the Congress retained 42 with an average victory margin of 17.952 votes. In 2012, the Congress had won these seats with an average victory margin of 19,983 votes.