40-40 politics 3

Posted in politics by jrahman on January 30, 2011

Yet another post on this.  Hopefully the last. But I thought it would be useful to flesh out two things.

1. Comparison with 2001.

The final tally then was BNP 41% – AL 40%.  But this headline number masks the reality.

AL fought all 300 seats, and got 23.3 million votes — 78,000 per seat.

BNP’s alliance partners received nearly 6% in about 40 seats (give or take). This meant, BNP fought the election in about 260 seats.  Its total vote take was 23 million — that comes to about 89,000 per seat it fought.

Independents pulled in 2.3 million votes — 8,000 per seat.

In 30 or so seats, JP’s Ershad and Manju factions and Kader Siddiqui’s party received 8% collectively.


Putting all these together, in the typical seat where there was AL-BNP head to head contest, BNP won 51% against AL’s 45%.  There were about 250 such seats.  BNP won 190 or so, against AL’s 60.

So, in the final analysis, 2001 was not quite a 40-40 or 50-50 election.

2. And that leads to my second point.  The current situation is one of 40-40 politics.  This doesn’t mean things will be necessarily the same in 2014.  And even if it were, what that would mean is this: the election will be for 300 seats, with each seat having 100 or so centres, so the winners will be decided by what happens in 30,000 micro elections across the country.  Macro trends on this or that issue, or this or that wave, will be far limited in impact compared with the micro issues of candidates, campaigns and the utilisation of grass roots and money.  Our political commentariat (and bloggers) will need to get out of the comfort zones and see things across the country if they want to say something useful about the election.

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