A small swing of votes in the Assembly elections can influence the outcome of many seats in Jharkhand, as 19 of the 81 seats were decided by a thin margin of less than 5,000 votes in 2014. Most of these seats were won by the BJP-AJSU alliance.
An analysis of the 2014 Jharkhand Assembly election results shows that as many as 23 per cent of the seats were decided by a margin of less than 5,000 votes. These seats include Barkagaon, Torpa, Saraikella, Jama, Nirsa, Bhawanathpur, Bagodar, Lohardaga, Daltonganj, Panki, Simdega, Tundi, Rajmahal, Borio, Sisai, Gumla, Dumka, Jarmundi and Manika.
In at least five seats, the victory margin was less than 1,000 votes. Similarly, five seats were decided by a margin of between 1,000 to 2,000 votes.
In 2014, among the 19 seats with a thin victory margin, most went to the BJP-AJSU alliance (BJP got 8 and AJSU 2). Opposition parties Congress and JMM won 3 seats each. The JMM was runner-up on maximum 7 seats followed by BJP (5) in the seats with thin victory margin.
In terms of the overall performance in the last Assembly election, out of 81 seats, the BJP won maximum 35 seats —almost double of its tally of 18 seats in 2009. JMM won 17 seats, Congress six and AJSU five, and 18 seats went to others.
The BJP’s vote share increased to 31 per cent in comparison to 20 per cent in 2009. Among the Opposition parties, the JMM’s vote share increased from 16 per cent in 2009 to 20 per cent in 2014, while Congress’s vote share came down from 12 to 10 per cent.
An analysis of the 2019 Lok Sabha election results shows that BJP emerged as the leading party in at least 57 Assembly segments in Jharkhand, whereas the Congress was in leading position on 11 seats, JMM 7 and AJSUP 6.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, too, BJP was the leading party in 56 Assembly segments, but the party could not repeat this performance in the Assembly election held a few months later. At the same time, the BJP’s vote share was 40 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Jharkhand and increased to 52 per cent in 2019.
Among the Opposition parties, the Congress and JMM too increased their vote share marginally, whereas Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), a state party, registered a decline in vote share from 12 per cent in 2009 to 5 per cent in 2019.