By winning this year’s Assembly polls, the MK Stalin-led DMK has completed its hat-trick of poll victories since 2019. Two years ago, Tamil Nadu had held two crucial polls: the first were the by-elections for 22 Assembly seats followed by rural local body elections.
And then came 2021 elections. The distinction for the party lies not only in scoring a hat-trick but also in earning a rare achievement: its 2021 victory margins were nearly as big as the ones it achieved in the previous two elections.
The results of these three elections show that the DMK’s lead over the AIADMK has been stable and consistent. The AIADMK could not make any headway despite spending crores of rupees of the taxpayer money on government and party advertisements to boost the image of the party and of its leader, Edappadi Palaniswami.
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Here are facts:
I) Assembly by-elections:For the 22 constituencies, the DMK-led front managed a lead of about 6.89% (45.07% against 38.18% for the AIADMK front).
II) Local body polls: In December 2019, the DMK trounced the AIADMK again with an average margin of 6%.
Elections for district panchayat wards:
- DMK: 47.38%
- AIADMK: 41.55%
- DMK’s margin of victory): 5.83%
Elections for panchayat union wards:
- DMK: 41.16%
- AIADMK: 35.21%
- Difference: 5.95%
Average vote share: DMK ahead by 5.89%
- DMK average vote share: 47.38 + 41.16 = 88.54 / 2 = 44.27%
- AIADMK average vote share: 41.55 + 35.21 = 76.76/2 = 38.38%
- Difference: 5.89%
III) 2021 Assembly election:The DMK-led front polled 45.5% votes, while the AIADMK alliance secured 39.7%. Again the DMK had a victory margin of 5.8%.
Also read: AIADMK enters vitriolic phase of polls, faces internal and external rebellionThe figures show that there has been little improvement in the AIADMK’s overall performance in terms of vote share percentages or seat share in the last three elections. This is contrary to the AIADMK’s claims that there has been a massive surge in its performance under the leadership of Palaniswami.
The data also reveals that the AIADMK’s seat share in 2021 dropped compared to the 2019 by-polls.
For example, in 2019 DMK won 13 of the 22 Assembly by-election seats, or with a vote share of 59.09%. The AIADMK won 9, or 40.90% of the votes. In contrast, in 2021 the DMK-led front bagged 159 out of 234 seats (67.94%), while the AIADMK combine won only 75 (32.05%), a drop in seat share of 8.85%.
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Results of one-on-one battles
In head-on battles in 2021, the DMK won 133 seats (56.83%), while the AIADMK was successful in 66 (28.20%), again showing a drop in seat share of 12.70%.
So, in terms of vote share too, the AIADMK has suffered a drop of over 6.3% in the 2021 elections as compared to its own performance in 2019. These figures also disprove of the the theory that the AIADMK had improved its performance under Palaniswami in 2021.