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Karnataka: With a pre-poll tie-up, Congress-JD(S) could’ve won 151, left 69 to BJP

Had there been such an opposition alliance, Congress would have won 99 seats instead of the 78 it won and JD (S) would have won 51 seats against its tally of 37.

TNN|
May 17, 2018, 11.08 AM IST
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More importantly, if the two parties tie up for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and if voters stick to the same party preferences — big ifs — BJP would be reduced to just 7 of the state’s 28 seats instead of the 17 it won in 2014.
How much of a difference to the results would it have made if Congress and JD(S) had a pre-poll alliance in Karnataka? ‘What if’ questions are always hard to answer in politics, but going purely by the arithmetic of the actual results, such an alliance would have won 151 seats leaving the BJP with just 69.

More importantly, if the two parties tie up for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and if voters stick to the same party preferences — big ifs — BJP would be reduced to just 7 of the state’s 28 seats instead of the 17 it won in 2014, while Congress could raise its tally from 9 to 17. These emerge from the numbers of the 2018 verdict.

Had there been such an opposition alliance, Congress would have won 99 seats instead of the 78 it won and JD (S) would have won 51 seats against its tally of 37. BSP, which was a JD(S) ally, would have won the seat it did, but not gained from an alliance.

In the Lok Sabha polls, combining the Congress and JD(S) votes makes no difference to the latter’s potential tally. The votes it polled would be enough for it to win Hassan, Mandya, Tumkur and Kolar and adding Congress votes does not add to its tally. On the other hand, Congress would win Chikkodi, Raichur, Uttara Kannada, Davengere, Shimoga and Chitradurga if JD(S) votes were added to its kitty but lose these seats to BJP if it contested on its own.

For BJP, the good news is that even if such an alliance were to happen, it would still win the Belgaum, Bagalkot, Haveri, Dharwar, Udupi Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Bangalore South parliamentary seats as long as voters stick to their current preference. And if some voters who picked Congress or JD(S) in these polls switch to BJP in a national poll, its tally could be higher.

Of course, there is more than arithmetic to polls and political alliances, but these calculations give an indication of the possible impact an opposition alliance could have.

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