Gujarat voters resisted split in anti-incumbency votes
Election Commission data for Assembly elections from 1962 to 2012 shows an interesting trend — an average minimum of 33 per cent of the electorate pooled anti-establishment votes in Gujarat.
People have hardly voted for a newly mushroomed party, even when it was led by a stalwart like Bhailalbhai Patel (Swatantra Party), or Chimanbhai Patel’s first KLP or Janata Party. The latest of attempt in 2012, Gujarat Parivartan Party led by former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, fetched just 3.63 per cent votes. Only when there has been a major swing or an anti establishment wave, is when the third front has come to power — once in 1975 and the second time in 1990.
What this data indicates is that any attempt to split anti-incumbency votes has not succeeded in the state. In 1962, some 11 parties contested the polls, but majority of the electorate voted either for the Congress, Swatantra Party, Praja Socialist Party or BJP, but not for the Hindu Mahasabha, Communist Party of India, Nutan Mahgujarat Janata Parishad or any other. The trend has continued.
In 1975, 10 parties contested the polls, in 1990, there were some 25 parties in the fray, 26 in 1995, 20 parties in 2002, 34 …read more