While first-time voters and senior citizens made a beeline to the polling stations, nearly half of Mumbai gave the BMC polls a miss yet again. City's voter turnout stands at 55.28 pc, suburbs romp home with biggest wins; South Mumbai shamed again
Voters patiently queue up at a municipal school in Ashok Nagar, Kandivli East, yesterday. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Mumbai, you've bested yourself. The city registered its best performance in over two decades of civic polls, by polling nearly 55.28 per cent in yesterday's BMC election.
After a dismal start earlier in the day — the voter turnout stood at 19 per cent at 1 pm — Mumbaikars set out to change their poor track record — the city had never crossed the 50 per cent mark in civic elections since 1992 — by the end of polling.
In the 2012 BMC election, voting percentage stood at 44.75 per cent, marginally higher than that of the 2007 poll (46. per cent). Data of only 18 of the 23 wards had been received at the time of going to press.
Friends cast their vote at Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu in Mumbai. Pic/ Satej Shinde
Expect better seat share
Experts feels that a high voting percentage could be a windfall for political parties and help them clinch a higher share of seats. Political observers and senior party leaders say a higher percentage could change parties' dynamics with each other. In the 2014 assembly and parliamentary polls, higher voting percentages had benefited the BJP.
The fates of Shiv Sena and MNS rests on the voting pattern in Dadar-Parel belt, their traditional Marathi vote bank. Voting percentages in the belt stood at 48 per cent in 2007 and 46 per cent in 2012.
Suburbs still better
Suburbs maintained their record of performing better than the island city. R-Central ward (Borivali) topped with 61.5 per cent and R-North (Dahisar) at 60%.
The poorest shows were from the C and D wards (Chandanwadi, Marine Lines, Malabar Hill, Grant Road and Nana Chowk) — with 47.25 per cent polling — as well as A, B and E wards (Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Churchgate, Dongri, Byculla, Mazgaon) — with a 49.11 per cent turnout.
In both 2007 and 2012, ward 227, comprising the tony areas of RC Church, Colaba and Navy Nagar, registered the lowest turnouts of 23.11 per cent and 23.47 per cent, respectively. Overall, ward A, which covers Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Fort, Churchgate and CST, hadn't fared much better. It saw a polling of 35.26 per cent in 2007 and 34.10% in 2012.
In sharp contrast, voters of suburbs like Bhandup and Borivli had streamed into booths. In 2007, ward 107 (Tembhipada, Gaondevi) in Bhandup (W) topped the turnout at 59.32%. In 2012, ward 11 (Bansi Nagar, Tata Power House) in Borivali (E) took the cake with 55.66% polling.
No. of voters in the city
Turnout in the 2014 assembly election
Percentage of voters that turned up yesterday
Poll of polls