In state elections, when incumbents had a high success ratio

Started by devikad, May 06, 2021, 11:24 PM

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In state elections, when incumbents had a high success ratio

One indicator of the competitiveness of an election is the ability of incumbent candidates to secure their re-election, or individual incumbency. It is usually understood that contrary to most democracies, incumbent candidates in India face a disadvantage towards their challengers when they seek re-election. Individual incumbency data also allows to map turncoat candidates and their performance.

In this article, we use an original dataset, derived from Election Commission of India (ECI) data and the results of the 2021 state elections, to explore the performance of incumbent candidates and turncoats.

A high re-running incumbents' ratio

Except for Puducherry, most sitting members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) got a chance to re-run and win a consecutive term. 83% of all sitting MLAs in Kerala and 73% of all sitting MLAs in Assam re-ran, which is unusually high.

In West Bengal, multiple defections and changes of strategy have led parties to let 65% of all sitting MLAs re-run. Less than half of Tamil Nadu legislators re-contested, the consequence of the churning occasioned by the new leadership in both main parties. These remain high numbers considering that most parties across India usually discard about half of their sitting MLAs, usually to prevent anti-incumbency.


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