There were 23 seats where the vote margin was less than 2,000 for the winning candidate in the 2020 Bihar assembly election. Of these 23, 11 had a vote margin of less than 1,000 between the winner and the runner up. The narrow vote margins indicate that the results could have been swayed in the other direction, had the campaign effectively mobilised potential voters. Of these low-margin seats, 12 were won by the Mahagathbandhan, nine went to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and one each to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and an independent. Importantly, “None of the Above” or NOTA vote share was greater than the margin by which many candidates lost in 19 of these 23 constituencies.
The NOTA vote reflects the growing dissatisfaction with the existing political establishment. But the opposition parties were unable to tap into this growing voter disenchantment and present themselves as an alternative. The NOTA voters could have been mobilised by the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan alliance through well-though-out strategies, keeping the campaign more dynamic and targeted.