The Rajasthan Assembly Elections of 2018 witnessed a high-stakes battle for political supremacy in the state. The assembly elections were held in a single phase on 7th December 2018 to elect members of the 200 constituencies in the state.
As the results unfolded, it became evident that neither the Congress nor the BJP had secured an outright majority, with the Congress emerging as the single largest party with 99 seats, just two shorts of the magic number required for a majority in the 200-member assembly while BJP secured 73 seats.
INC formed the government by coming into alliance with BSP and RLD. Ashok Gehlot was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
In this blog, we will explore the election results during the last three elections in greater detail by thoroughly examining them from a regional perspective, providing a deeper understanding of the electoral dynamics at play.
The state assembly elections in Rajasthan witnessed a battle for political supremacy among the two major parties, BJP and INC in these six key regions over the years.
Region Wise Seats
Region Wise Seats
In every one of the six regions in Rajasthan, there is a notable trend of INC consolidating its position after a decrease in 2013. In stark contrast, BJP experienced a decline in the 2018 elections compared to the 2013 results.
Region Wise Vote Share
Region Wise Vote Share
In 2018, INC managed to reclaim its previously lost vote share from 2013 in almost all six regions, marking an average increase of 5% since 2008. However, the Southern region exhibited a consistent decline, with a 7% decrease in 2013 and a marginal 0.1% dip in 2018. Conversely, the BJP, while experiencing a reduction in its share compared to 2013 across all regions, notably garnered more votes than it did in 2008.”
Change in Vote Share
Shift in Vote Share for BJP
In 2013, the BJP witnessed a significant surge in its regional vote shares. Nevertheless, by 2018, there was a decrease in the BJP’s share across all regions, even though it maintained an overall increase from 2008 to 2018. On average, the BJP’s share experienced a 10% rise in 2013, followed by a 6% decline in 2018, resulting in a net average increase of 4% from 2008 to 2018.
The Western Region in particular witnessed a notable upswing with a maximum increase of 14% followed by a significant downturn with a maximum loss of 13% in 2013. As a result, the region achieved a net increase of 2%, which was the minimum among all regions when considering the overall changes from the specified period.
Shift in Vote Share for INC
Between 2008 and 2018, the Indian National Congress (INC) experienced a net average increase of 3% in its share. In 2013, the party witnessed a 4% decline in its share on average, followed by a significant upturn of 7% in 2018. It’s worth noting that the INC faced an 11% reduction in its share in the Haroti region in 2013. However, it managed to offset this loss by increasing its share by 13%, resulting in a net gain of 2%. While the INC effectively recovered from losses in most regions, its share consistently diminished in the South since 2008.
Region Wise Strong Holds
Region Wise Strongholds
Seats consistently won by a political party in the 2008, 2013, and 2018 elections are referred to as their stronghold constituencies.
Out of the total seats in Rajasthan, 17% are considered strongholds. Of these, the BJP holds a strong position in 82% of the seats, while the INC holds a strong position in 15% of the seats. One seat (Centre Region) has been won by Independents since 2008.
Winning Margins in strong holds
Avg. Winning Margin
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has an average winning margin of 14%, 24%, and 9% in the 28 seats for the years 2008, 2013, and 2018, respectively. In North Rajasthan, the winning margin for the party’s stronghold seats has noticeably declined since 2008, which may raise concerns for the BJP.
Avg. Winning Margin
The Indian National Congress (INC) has an average winning margin of 20%, 9%, and 17% in its five strongholds for the years 2008, 2013, and 2018, respectively.
Bassi constituency has consistently elected independent candidates since 2008. Anju Devi Dhanka won as an independent in both 2008 and 2013, with comfortable margins of 19% and 8%, respectively. In 2018, Laxman Meena, who was formerly affiliated with the INC, won as an independent with a significant margin of 25%.
Region wise Low Margin ACs
BJP and INC
Constituencies won/ lost by margin of 5% or less.
In the Central region, the competition was most intense between the INC and the BJP, where each secured victory in 5 out of the 11 seats. Notably, the Shahpura seat defied the trend, with Alok Beniwal prevailing as an independent candidate. It’s worth noting that Beniwal had narrowly lost this seat to the BJP in 2013 by a mere 2%.
The INC and BJP had close electoral contests in the Haroti region, with the BJP winning five of the six seats.
In this region, a fiercely contested electoral battle between the BJP and INC played out across seven seats. Meanwhile, in the remaining constituencies, the BSP emerged as the primary challenger, engaging in neck-and-neck races with the INC in Pohari and with the BJP in Gwalior Rural.
In the Matsya region, the BJP experienced no wins with narrow leads. Instead, the party encountered a setback, losing one seat, Bayana, to the INC, and another seat, Nadbai, to BSP’s Joginder Singh Awana, both with marginal victories. It’s worth highlighting that Bayana and Nadbai had been under BJP control since 2003 and 2008, respectively.
In contrast to the BJP, the INC achieved one victory with a slim margin. However, the INC lost Tiara to BSP’s Sandeep Kumar and Behror to an independent candidate named Baljeet Yadav. Notably, the BJP, which had held the Behror seat since the 2004 by-polls, came in as the second runner-up in that constituency.
The chart clearly indicates that among the 13 victories with narrow margins in the North region, 7 were secured by the BJP and 5 by the INC. Notably, the INC lost all of its low-margin seats to the BJP. Conversely, the BJP experienced a setback by losing Udaipurwati, a constituency it had held since 2008, to the BSP.
In the context of low-margin victories and losses for the BJP, the competition primarily involved the INC and BTP. Among these 10 seats, the BJP secured wins in 6, with 5 from the INC and 1 from BTP (Aspur constituency). The 4 seats that the BJP lost included 3 to the INC and 1 to BTP (Sagwara constituency).
In the same region, the INC claimed victory in 3 seats against the BJP, securing Vallabh Nagar from JSR and Mandal from the independent candidate Pradhyuman Singh.
The BJP faced a significant setback in the Marwar Junction seat, losing by the smallest margin of 0.2% to independent candidate Kushveer Singh. Notably, the BJP had consistently won this seat since its establishment in 2008. Among the 6 low-margin losses for the BJP, all were victories for the INC.
Conversely, the BJP secured wins in 5 seats with narrow margins, primarily against the INC, except for Siwana, which was won from an independent candidate named Balaram.
Similarly, the INC experienced a loss in Bhoplagarh, which was claimed by the RLTP.
We will be continuously exploring the political landscape of the Rajasthan Assembly in greater depth for the upcoming elections in the state. Stay tuned to check out more with Meradesh App available on Appstore and Play Store.
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