November 28, 2013

Independent candidates: Party-poopers in disguise?

In this Business standard article, Praveen Chakravarty discussed the chances of success for independent candidates in the first-past-the-post electoral system like in India.

"The chances of an independent candidate winning a Lok Sabha election is less than 0.4 per cent. To contextualise, that is akin to the odds of a cricket captain winning the toss eight consecutive times. Only Colin Cowdrey has achieved that in the nearly 150 years of international cricket. A mere 13 out of 3,806 candidates that contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as independents, won. The winning percentage of independents has been declining steadily over the past four Lok Sabha elections....

The potential to "impact" the eventual outcome in a constituency is what drives this "independent candidate" movement. In the 2009 elections, nearly 10 million people collectively voted for 3,793 independent candidates across 502 constituencies. None of these 3,793 candidates won. But they together impacted outcomes in 164 constituencies. A mere 2.5 per cent of all voters impacted theelectoral outcomes in more than 30 per cent of all Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2009 elections."

Read the full article here.


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