Visualising Karnataka’s municipal elections 2013

Urban Karnataka took to the polling booth earlier this month to vote for their corporators and municipal councillors. The elections were to be a four-way contest, with the Indian National Congress (INC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal (Secular) and Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) being the large political parties in the fray. Congress had a significant victory in the elections, securing 1960 of the 4976 seats contested: over 39% of the total. BJP and JDS were far behind, securing but 905 seats each, about 18% a piece of the total seats. The breakaway former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa’s new party the KJP could manage only 274 seats, less than 6% of the total. Independents won a significant portion of the seats as well.

The Karnataka municipal elections are happening at a rather critical time, with state assembly elections due in a few months and with the national parliamentary elections due in 2014. The results here will have a significant impact on both the impending elections. Twitter and other social media are already abuzz with speculations and assertions on what this would mean for the coming elections, on whether the municipal voters represent the entire state’s dispositions, on the signaling value of Congress’s early win, on anti-incumbency as a driver within the state, and much more. This article limits itself to a brief analysis of the municipal elections and their results, with an attempt to understand who will be governing much of urban Karnataka over the next five years.

Out of a total of 61 million residents of Karnataka, 208 cities and towns with a total of 13.9 million residents had local elections this month. At 22.8% of the state’s population, this covered all of urban Karnataka with the exception of Bangalore and a few minor towns. While most news stories are talking about the total number of corporator/councilor seats won by political parties, what matters is who has been able to win a majority of seats in individual local bodies such that they can form the local government there. Like in assembly and parliamentary elections, city mayors are elected indirectly by allowing elected municipal councilors to select their mayor.

The above graphic shows how many cities and towns of different sizes have been won by individual political parties. Overall, the Congress won 79 of the total 208 seats, with JDS and BJP with 25 and 24 each. The KJP managed only 5 seats, but it is interesting to note that there were 12 urban local bodies where all independents put together won a majority of the seats. Also, a good 30% of the local bodies had no clear victors. These 62 cities and towns will be where a lot of negotiations will take place over the next few weeks so that coalitions can be cobbled together to reach a simple majority.

Click on the map to know more about election results in individual towns.

A quick look at the above map tells us about the geographical spread of each party’s victories in Karnataka’s municipal elections. The congress (blue) appears to be well spread out throughout the state. The majority of JDS victories (green) are clustered in Southern Karnataka, conforming with their traditional strength in the Old Mysore region. The BJP (red) appears to have won towns in the eastern half of Karnataka – ranging from Belgaum and Bagalkote all the way down to Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu.

In all, the Congress has won a significant victory in Karnataka – be it in the number of corporator seats won, cities with majorities and their size. Below is a set of major cities and towns won by each of the political parties in the fray.

Notes. In this article, victors have been declared if they have won more than 45% of the seats in any given town or city. This is with the assumption that by taking on board one or two independents, the party can attain a simple majority. As of writing of this article, 24 seats out of the total 4976 are yet to be declared on the NIC website: most of which are seats from Terdal TMC, Bagalkot district. 

Data used in this post is available here.

You can also take a look at my fellow blogger Karthik Shashidhar‘s work for other visualisations of the election results: Congress Sweep |  Overall resultsDistrict-wise results | Party-wise performance on a district map | 

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to Visualising Karnataka’s municipal elections 2013

  1. Vasant March 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM #

    Hey Pavan,

    Nicely put. Here is the story about Independents. 1> In Belagavi, elections happen on language basis. It’s Kannada Vs Marathi over there. No party files it’s candidates here. Candidates have to fight under the banner of Kannada or Marathi. MES has won 25 seats, while Kannada speaking (which includes Urdu too) group has won 25 seats. Marathi rebels have won 6 seats and mostly MES may rule the local body there with rebel’s support.

    In Bhatkal, except for 2 seats to Congress, rest all seats are won by Independents. Independents come from all religious, social back ground. The case is similar in Gokak too.

  2. Abhishek Bhattacharya March 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM #

    Hello Karthik,

    Excellent analysis. Maybe a part two of this blog can cull out more information on “why” the victors won elections where they won.

    I liked the use of google maps and your geographical analysis is succinct.

    In the paragraph above the table you have mentioned 208 seats however in the table results for only 207 have been shown. A clarification regarding this would be helpful.

    • Pavan Srinath March 12, 2013 at 2:09 PM #

      Thanks for your comment. Karthik hasn’t written this piece though, I have. :)
      The ‘why’ question is obviously a lot harder to write about because of a lack of good data for it. Why people vote the way they do is the grand question that psephologists and others have been asking for a long time. I will happily leave the why and what-does-this-imply questions for people more politically astute than myself.

      As I mention in the notes at the end of the post, the results for Terdal TMC, Bagalkot district have not been put up on the NIC website, for some reason. Hence this analysis deals only with the other 207.

      • VshyfromVshland April 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM #

        Good analysis.

        w.r.t missing constituency: thats because voters had boycotted elections in Terdal TMC