The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 36.2 per cent of the votes in the Karnataka election — its highest since the party first contested the state polls in 1983.
However, its rivals — the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) with a 18.3 per cent vote share and the Congress with a 38 per cent vote share — have a combined vote share of 56.3 per cent.
The vote share of the JD(S), the results show, was its lowest in nearly two decades since 1999 when it had a vote share of 10.4 per cent.
The Congress’ vote share is the highest among the three parties and the highest the party got since the 1999 elections when it had a vote-share of 40.8 per cent.
Although the BJP’s vote share was 1.8 percentage points lower than the Congress’, the former is 26 seats ahead of the incumbent Congress in this election, according to leads and results. This is because elections in India follow the first-past-the-post system: The candidate with the highest number of votes wins the seat.
In states where the BJP is in power, such as Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the party, in its ascent to power, made inroads into the strongholds of regional parties.
Going against this trend, in Karnataka, the JD(S) has largely retained its influence, winning 37 seats — three fewer than the 40 it won in 2013. This, despite the party recording a vote share of 18.3 per cent in the 2018 elections, down from 20.2 per cent in 2013.