Data | Bihar Assembly election 2020 was the closest in State's history

The JD(U)s win in Hilsa against the RJD was by a mere 72 votes or 0.07 % of the total votes

The 2020 Bihar Assembly election was the closest contest in the State’s history in many ways. In this election, in 20% of the seats, the margin of victory was less than 2.5% of the votes polled, the highest share of such seats in the last 14 elections.

However, such wafer-thin margins may not have influenced the final tally much in the 2020 polls, as both the alliances won tightly contested seats in nearly equal numbers. The BJP and JD(U) won 21 seats with a less than 2.5% vote margin, while the RJD and Congress won in 22 such seats.

Also read: Data | Bihar Assembly election 2020: A matter of alliance cohesion


The chart plots the win margin in terms of votes and vote % for the 4,530 seats where Assembly elections were conducted (bypolls are ignored) in Bihar between 1962 and 2020. The 2020 seats are coloured according to the latest alliances, while the past years are shaded grey.

In 2020, the JD(U)s win in Hilsa against the RJD was by a mere 72 votes or 0.07 % of the total votes. This is the closest win in the last 14 elections in Bihar, both in terms of the number of votes and vote %.

The CPI(ML)(L)’s Manoj Manzi( won the Agiaon seat by a 34.53% vote margin in 2020, the biggest win in terms of vote % in this election. Mahboob Atom, also from CPI(ML)(L) won the Balrampur seat by a margin of 53,597 votes, the biggest win in terms of absolute votes in this election.


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Closest in 58 years

About 8% of seats in the 2020 Bihar polls had less than a 1% win margin, and 12% of seats had a win margin between 1% and 2.5%. Put together, 20% of the seats had a win margin of <2.5%, the highest such share of seats in the last 14 Assembly polls.

Also read: Weak at the top: The Hindu Editorial on Nitish Kumar’s return

Margin call

The table shows the number of seats won by parties across various margin ranges. Margin is presented as a % of total votes. The number of seats where parties secured the second position, across margin ranges, is also noted. In 2020, the victory margin was <1% in 17 seats, and in 26 constituencies, the win margin was between 1% and 2.5%.


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