More analysis of UP 2012 assembly election

Rahul Verma writes:

1. There is nothing spectacular about SP’s victory or BSP’s loss in this election. Reason – There is hardly any difference between proportion/number of seats SP won or BSP lost because of close margin.

2. The BSP was in same situation in 2007 as SP is in 2012.

3. Looking at table 3 and 4 (read the other way) one finds that the BSP did not loose overwhelmingly to the  SP, i.e. when the BSP and SP were in direct contest. This analysis suggests that there is no support for the hypothesis that SP did spectacularly well when parties other than BSP were in direct contest with SP.

To view spreadsheet in new tab/download data, click here.

Note: In the absence of UP 2007 AC data, the hypothesis cannot be tested rigorously. Any volunteers out there who want to help make the 2007 data (available here) in an open format?

UP assembly election 2012

How closely were the UP 2012 assembly elections contested? Every one in seven assembly constituencies were won with a margin of less than 1% of the votes. The median margin of votes in this election was 6%. [Does someone have any idea of trends on this? What is the typical margin of victory in UP elections?]

Victory Margin Count Percentage
1% and less 55 14%
2-5% 130 32%
6-10% 96 24%
11-15% 72 18%
16% and more 50 12%
Total ACs 403 100%

Note: Margin of votes has been calculated as the ratio of the difference in votes between the winner and the runner up to the total number of votes cast in the assembly constituency.

If one considers a simplified electoral contest in all the ACs, reduces them to face-offs between 2 parties (only winner and runner up) and analyzes the data for the Samajwadi Party, one finds that SP and the BSP fought head-to-head in half of the assembly constituencies, with SP winning majority of the time (SP’s strike rate against the BSP was 79% with a 8% margin of victory); BSP won only 43 out of 204 ACs against the SP with a 4% margin. When facing off against the BJP, SP’s strike rate was lower at 65%, but the median margin of victory was higher at 10%. On the other hand, against the Congress, SP had a lower strike rate (58%) and a lower margin of victory (4%).

The state-level data used for analysis was collected from the ECI website using Needlebase, whereas the constituency-level data was scrapped by Páll Hilmarsson at Scraperwiki (Special thanks to Páll for writing the code and ‘freeing the data’ for 6819 candidates).

To download the data/open spreadsheet in new tab or to add more information, please click here. (PS: Please be careful when editing the document – if you mess something up, you can alway press Ctrl+Z! In case of any problems, leave a comment below)