Bihar Elections: 5th phase sees record voter turnout in 15 years

6Nov Bihar Election


The 2015 Assembly elections in Bihar came to a close on Thursday 5 November 2015, which saw a record turnout of 60%, the highest amongst all phases of polling in these elections. The overall average voter turnout in all 5 phases stands at 56.80% which is higher by 4.15% over the 2010 voter turnout, which stood at 52.65%. This is the highest turnout since the 2000 elections, when the turnout touched 62.6%. Overall, women voters outnumbered the men.

Voter percentage in 2010 / 2015 / Difference

Madhubani: 48.65% / 55.87% / 7.22%

Supaul:  60.13% / 58.60% / -1.53%

Araria:  60.30% / 62% / 1.7%

Kishanganj:  58.95% / 64.39% / 5.44%

Purnea:  60.29% / 62.95% / 2.66%

Katihar:  62.29% / 67.27% / 4.98%

Madhepura:  59.45% / 57.84% / -1.61%

Saharsa:  52.75% / 50.78% / -1.97%

Darbhanga:  47.58% / 58.27% / 10.69%

Phase total:  52.65% / 56.80% / 4.15%


Interpreting voter turnout in districts

Darbhanga recorded the highest voter turnout at 58.27% which is 10.69% improvement over 47.58% recorded in 2010.This is also the highest improvement in percentage turnout for any district in these elections.

Within the district, Bahadurpur recorded the highest turnout at 63.90%, while Darbhanga recorded the lowest at 55.30%.

In 2010 assembly elections, the seat was won by Sanjay Saraogi – BJP candidate who defeated RJD’s Sultan Ahmad by a margin of 27,554 votes. In 2015, BJP has once again fielded Sanjay Saraogi who will be contesting Om Prakash Kheria from RJD.

Madhubani recorded the second highest voter turnout at 55.87% which is 7.22% higher than in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Jhanjarpur recorded the highest voter turnout at 61%, while the lowest of 54% was recorded in Benipatti, Babubarhi, Rajnagar (SC) and Phulparas.

In 2010 assembly elections, Ram Deo Mahto, BJP, defeated Naiyar Azam (RJD) by a narrow margin of 588 votes. Despite the narrow win, BJP is once again fielding Ram Deo Mahto this year and his main fight will be against Samir Kumar Mahaseth of RJD.

Kishanganj recorded the third highest voter turnout at 64.39% which is 5.44% higher than 58.95% recorded in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Kochadaman recorded the highest voter turnout at 63.88%, while Bahadurganj recorded the lowest at 63.58%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Dr Mohammad Jawaid (INC) defeated Sweety Singh of BJP by a narrow margin of 264 votes. Once again, in 2015, both will be going head-to-head for their respective parties and it should be an interesting contest.

Katihar recorded the fourth highest voter turnout at 67.27% which is 4.98% higher than 62.29% recorded in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Barari recorded the highest turnout at 72.76%, while Katihar recorded the lowest at 63.68%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Tar Kishore Prasad(BJP) defeated Dr Ram Prakash Mahto ( RJD) by a margin of 20,601 votes. In 2015, BJP has once again fielded Tar Kishore Prasad who will be pitted against Bjay Singh – JD(U). RJD contested this seat in 2010 but has vacated it in favour of the JD(U) candidate.

Purnea comes next in voter turnout recording 62.95% which is 2.66% higher than 60.29% recorded in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Kasba recorded the highest turnout at 68.90%, while Rupauli recorded the lowest at 58.82%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Raj Kishore Keshari of BJP defeated Ram Charitra Yadav (INC) by a margin of 15,599 votes. In 2015, Vijay Kumar Khemka of BJP will be taking on INC’s Indu Sinha. Both parties have fielded new candidates. Ram Charitra Yadav of INC has rebelled and is contesting as an independent candidate.

Araria was the last amongst the districts to record the lowest positive percentage improvement in voter turnout, recording 62% which is 1.7% improvement over the 2010 figure at 60.30%.

Within the district, Sikti recorded the highest turnout at 64.57%, while Raniganj (SC) recorded the lowest at 60.50%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Zakir Hussain Khan, LJP, defeated Narayan Kumar Jha of BJP by a margin of 18,061 votes. In 2015, Avidur Rahman- INC will be contesting against Ajay Kumar Jha- LJP and Shad Ahmad- SP.

Supaul was amongst the three districts to record negative percentage voter turnout. It recorded the highest turnout amongst the three at 58.60% which is 1.53% lower than 60.13% recorded in 2010.

Within the district, Pipra recorded the highest turnout at 63.21%, while Supaul recorded the lowest at 55.51%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Bijendra Prasad Yadav- JD(U) defeated Ravindra Kumar Raman- RJD by a margin of 15,392 votes. In 2015, JD(U) has once again fielded Bijendra Prasad Yadav and his main fight is with BJP’s Kishor Kumar.

Madhepura was next amongst the negative turnout rates recording 57.84% which is 1.61% lower than 59.45% recorded in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Alamnagar recorded the highest turnout at 61.15%, while Madhupera the lowest at 56%.

In 2010 assembly polls, Chandrashekhar – RJD – defeated Dr Ramendra Kumar Yadav Ravi – JD(U) – by a margin of 11,944 votes. This is a JD(U) – RJD stronghold and RJD has once again decided to field Chandrashekhar this year, who is up against Vijay Kumar ‘Bimal’- BJP. However, Kapildev Paswan- BSP and Ashok Kumar- JAP(L) could not eat into the RJD votes.

Saharsa turned in the lowest turnout amongst all district in this round of polling, recording 50.78% which is 1.97% lower than 52.75% recorded in 2010 polls.

Within the district, Sonbarsa (SC) recorded the highest turnout at 51.24%, while Mahishi recorded the lowest at 50.50%.

In 2010 assembly elections, Alok Ranjan of BJP had defeated Arun Kumar, RJD, by a margin of 7,979 votes. This year, BJP has once again reposed its faith in Alok Kumar who is up against his old rival from 2010, Arun Kumar – RJD. It will be interesting to see how the BJP fares without JD(U)’s support this time.