Karnataka Election 2018: Different Regions and Historical Voting Trends

karnataka chart
In Karnataka, the 2008 assembly elections was won by BJP comfortably with 110 seats, whereas the 2013 assembly elections was swept by the Congress by winning 122 seats. The alternating results and trends may suggest that any party is capable of performing well throughout the state on their given day. But still the different regions of the state have been considered as traditional strongholds of different political parties. Karnataka is divided into 30 districts and 4 administrative divisions and this geography of Karnataka is contained within 6 distinct regions. Different factors make these 6 regions conducive for one party whereas unfavourable to others. Below are the details about different regions of Karnataka state and their traditional inclination.

Coastal region - The coastal region of Karnataka is a BJP stronghold. For this precise reason Rahul Gandhi has toured the region recently and tried to address local issues and problems pertaining to the region. The BJP was a divided house in the 2013 assembly elections and hence Congress did extremely well in this region. But now with BJP presenting a united front the Congress has a herculean task of defending the seats which it won in 2013.

Old Mysore region - All the three primary political outfits the BJP, Congress and JD(S) have somewhat equal influence in the Old Mysore region of the state. The BJP and JD(S) are strong in some sub-regions whereas the Congress has influence in the entire region. The said area is dominated by the Vokkaliga caste which all the three parties are trying to woo. With the induction of SM Krishna the former Congress CM who belongs to the Vokkaliga community, the party would be expecting major gains here.

Bangalore region - In the Bangalore region the BJP has historically done well. BJP is regarded as an urban party; also Bangalore has high concentration of members of the Brahmin community who are traditionally BJP supporters. Also Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city with a sizable population of educated middle class who have origins in other state but have now made Karnataka their home. This vote block also leans towards the BJP. However with their traditional vote bank and that of minorities and more Congress is also a major player and not just a pushover in this region.

Mumbai-Karnataka region - The Mumbai-Karnataka region is dominated by the Lingayat community who have their inclination towards the BJP. The BJP Karnataka party chief and CM nominated candidate B. S. Yeddyurappa himself belongs to the said community. To dent the BJP vote bank here Congress has accorded minority status to Lingayats, how this will impact the vote share is something that we will have to wait and see.

Hyderabad-Karnataka region - The Hyderabad-Karnataka region of the state is also dominated by the Lingayats and Reddy brothers, both of which are traditionally BJP supporters. Thus BJP has an advantage here as well, but Mallikarjun Kharge a prominent backward class leader of the Congress and the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha belongs to the said region too. This will ensure advantage Congress on many seats which have sizeable votes from the backward community. 


Central Karnataka - In Central Karnataka both the BJP and the Congress are expecting to perform well. Both the BJP and the Congress has somewhat equal influence in the region, But BJP’s performance in the 2013 assembly elections was a disaster for them in this region. BJP managed to win just 2 seats out of the 32 seats spread across four districts of Central Karnataka. BJP would like to reverse the trend and the Congress would want to stop them in their tracks in 2018.

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