The Bharatiya Janata Party was leading with comfortable margins in all Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats as of 6.30 pm on Tuesday. If the leads hold, it would mean a clean sweep by the party in Delhi in three successive general elections.

The Hindutva party’s performance in the national capital looks even more impressive when seen in context of its showing in other North India states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana where its seat tally has dropped significantly.

The BJP’s victory in Delhi is also noteworthy considering that the party was up against an alliance of the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party contested four of the seven seats, while the Congress was in fray in three. As Scroll reported during the campaign, a key factor in the elections in Delhi was whether the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress – rivals in the capital for a decade – could settle their differences and ensure a consolidation of their votes.

As it turns out, the combined vote share of the two parties went up marginally from 2019, but that will not prove to be enough to defeat the BJP in any of the seats. However, the margins of BJP’s victory in all of the seven seats have reduced significantly from 2019.

Congress-AAP total vote share up, but not enough

At 6.30 pm on Tuesday, the BJP had got 54.23% of the votes polled in Delhi. The number is down nearly 2.6 percentage points from the 56.85% votes the party got in 2019. But for the Aam Aadmi Party-Congress alliance to take away seats away from the BJP, it needed to ensure that the Hindutva party fell even further – probably somewhere close to its 2014 vote share of 46.4%.

In 2014, even as BJP won all the seats in Delhi, the combined vote share of the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress was greater than that of the Hindutva party in all but one constituency. The total vote share of the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress across all seats of Delhi in 2014 was 48% – more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the BJP.

In this election, the AAP-Congress alliance’s vote share stood at 41.63% as of 6.30 pm on Tuesday. This number is less than a percentage point higher than the combined vote share of 40.83% the two parties polled in 2019.

Smaller margins for BJP

The fall in BJP’s vote share from 2019 reflected in the party’s diminished margins of victories in all seven seats of Delhi.

In 2019, the slimmest margin of victory for the BJP was 2.28 lakh votes in Chandni Chowk. The biggest margin was 5.78 lakh votes in West Delhi. The average margin of victory was more than 3.91 lakh votes.

This time, the average margin came down to 1.31 lakh votes, as of 5 pm on Tuesday. The largest margin was 2.64 lakh in the North West Delhi seat.

AAP benefited more from the alliance

A closer look at the vote shares in Delhi shows that the Aam Aadmi Party has benefited more from the alliance than the Congress.

The Aam Aadmi Party went up from 18.2% vote share in 2019 to 24.26% this time, as of 5 pm on Tuesday. The increase in votes is despite the fact that the party contested in only four seats in this election, while it fielded candidates in all seven constituencies in 2019.

The Congress, meanwhile, contested three seats and its vote share fell from 22.63% in 2019 to 19% this time.