Kolkata: The Kolkata civic polls has been significant not just in one way. While winning the required number of seats brought Trinamool Congress to power in the civic body, the vote share indicates its magnificent rise, which has not been much debated.
According to political observers, for any election, more than the number of seats a political party wins it is the vote shares that reflect the true positioning of a party.
In the recently concluded KMC Polls, the ruling TMC won 134 out of 144 seats. While the number of seats TMC won is significant, the jump in its vote share — 72.13 percent, is historic.
Rise in Trinamool’s vote share
The almost two-third vote share of TMC at KMC polls gave us a chance to find out about it at assembly and general elections.
At parliament and assembly polls, where often two-party contests take place, all available data suggests that no political party has got over 48 and 72 percent votes respectively.
In municipal polls, the highest so far has been for the BJP, which achieved 53.8 percent vote share in February 2021 polls, at Gujarat Municipal polls.
In 1984, Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress had secured 48 percent votes, which is the highest ever by any political party in General Election. In 2019, the BJP got 303 Lok Sabha seats but could only get 37.4 percent of the votes.
Sikkim Democratic Front achieved the highest vote shares in any assembly polls when it had got 71.09 percent in 2004.
TMC’s local body election record
In 2015 municipal polls, TMC secured a voting percentage of 50.84. And now, it has registered a jump of more than 21 percent vote share. There were 40,48,357 voters in the KMC election. Interestingly, in comparison to last municipal polls, the turnout percentage was 63.63 — 4.93 percent less.
Sabir Ahamed, National Research Coordinator of Amartya Sen’s Pratichi, told eNewsroom, “Many factors worked for TMC during municipal polls. They had a huge win just six months back, the party also started doing soft Hindutva, so the votes which can go to BJP come to Trinamool. Also, its Muslim voters are intact.”
Significant gain in assembly polls too
Mamata Banerjee led TMC when dethroned the three-decade-old Left Front government in Bengal in 2011 it had secured a 38.9 percent vote share. Five years later, when Trinamool returned to power, it touched a figure of 44.9.
In the 2021 assembly polls in May, TMC made a hat-trick and secured a 47.9 vote percentage. The percentage may have been boosted further with Trinamool having won five more seats in by-polls by huge margins.
The trend to continue till 2024 General Elections
In the 2014 General Election, TMC had a 39.05 percent vote share. Five years later, despite the party having lost 12 seats, it secured 43.69 percent vote shares – a jump by 4 percent.
Now it would be interesting to see what would be the rise in the vote share of Bengal’s ruling party in the forthcoming municipal polls (for other parts of the state) and 2024 General Elections.
“As there is no major alternative for voters, and welfare schemes are also working well for the TMC, this trend of voting percentage may continue till 2024,” claimed the researcher.