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General election 2019: How NDA and UPA are placed in Tamil Nadu!
As the pollsters through their opinion polls claim that the DMK-led UPA will sweep Tamil Nadu in the upcoming general election, naturally for the Congress it's a focus state.

However, the BJP too has also struck a coalition with the AIADMK which comprise of parties like PMK, DMDK and some small parties like Puthia Tamilagam, Tamil Manila Congress, Puthia Nidhi Katchi etc.

The DMK, BJP, PMK and the DMDK will participate in the Parliamentary election whereas the smaller parties will be accommodated the 18 assembly seat by-elections. Thus, the contest is between two alliances although there would be some small parties including Kamal Hassan's Makkal Nidhi Maim who will contest independently.

It's always difficult to predict who will win in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu's politics is also divided across caste lines like north-Indian states, but the difference is that almost all parties in Tamil Nadu are cadre based. Most of the time the right coalition wins the election be it assembly or Parliamentary election. Thus I will do a simple analysis just to know how Tamil Nadu poised for the upcoming general election as mostly the alliances are finalised.

From 1998, if we consider the party-wise vote share, we will find that both the AIADMK and the DMK enjoy roughly 25 per cent of core-vote share. I just excluded AIADMK's 2014 and 2016 vote share which was extraordinarily higher may be because of the impact of Jayalalithaa. However, in the absence of both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, we can consider their core vote share which has always stayed with the party even during bad times. When a party (AIADMK or DMK) wins, it increases its vote share 2-5 per cent. That means these are floating votes which may vote for either party. Similarly, the PMK, BJP, DMDK have a core vote share of 7, 5 and 8 per cent respectively. Similarly, the Congress, CPM, CPI, MDMK have a core vote bank of 10, 2, 2 and 3 per cent respectively. Rest of the smaller parties have negligible vote shares like less than 1 per cent each although sometimes they combined put an impact on the winning numbers.

So by now the NDA has an upstart with 45 per cent (25+7+5+8+2 per cent) of committed vote shares. I have added extra 2 per cent for other AIADMK allies like Puthia Tamilagam, Tamil Manila Congress, Puthia Nidhi Katchi etc.  Similarly, the UPA too has a committed vote share of 45 per cent (25+10+2+2+3+3 per cent). I have added 3 per cent vote share for the DMK's alliances partnetrs like VCK, IUML, KMDK, IJK and some smaller parties. That means both are at equal footing now. Whichever will be able to get 2-5 per cent more votes, that alliance will simply sweep the election. Thus the floating voters hold the key whichever alliance wins.

Here TTV Dinakaran's party AMMK also can play a big role. Point to be noted is that when I have considered AIADMK's 25 per cent vote share I have excluded TTV Dinakaran's possible vote share. AIADMK's 2014 vote share was astoundingly 44.3 per cent. That's why I didn't consider this vote share. The BJP initially wanted TTV's party to be included in the NDA. But there's a problem. Shasikala is already considered as a villain. Thus TTV's inclusion might hamper AIDMK's prospect and so NDA's. That's why AIDMK didn't accept TTV's party. Similar situation is for DMK because the party can't be seen with Shasikala. But TTV has the capacity to get around 3-5 per cent vote share because of rebelling AIDMK cadres.

Then there are by election of 18 Assembly seats from which AIDMK seeks at least 8 seats to retain its government in Tamil Nadu. If DMK alliance wins at least 11 of those 18 seats then forget who will form the government at the centre, DMK will definitely form government in Tamil Nadu. Thus Tamil Nadu has a mini assembly election too which is decisive.

The bottom line is the TN election contest is wide open after two coalitions. The coalition which gets at least 3 per cent more vote share will sweep the election. If both coalition get similar vote share then the both coalition will divide the seats with advantage to AIDMK because of its strategically distributed vote banks. Thus TN is no cake walk for either coalition although very important for both BJP and Congress as well as for both AIDMK and DMK.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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