Indian general election in Tamil Nadu, 2009
|2009 Election map (by constituencies)
Green = UPA and Red = Third Front
The Indian general election, 2009 polls in Tamil Nadu was held for 39 seats in the state. There was a radical change in the alliances in this election compared to the last election, reminiscent of the 1999 election in Tamil Nadu. In this election the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) decided to stay with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), but the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK (breakaway)), and the left parties decided to ally itself with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the newly formed Third Front.
After counting on May 16, 2009, the results to everyone surprise, showed the DMK and its allies, Indian National Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, winning in a landslide victory, bagging 27 out of 39 seats. DMK and its allies were also able to hold on to Pondicherry, which has one seat. Many expected, before the election, through opinion polling and voters on the ground, that AIADMK, and its allies, who were formerly with the UPA (PMK, MDMK, Left Front) in 2004, would win in a landslide, but due to the late surge of support for the DMK, and the nationwide support of the UPA government, the DMK and its allies, ended up winning the most seats, and this victory, proved crucial, for Congress to form the government on its own, without the Left Front.
M.K. Azhagiri, son of DMK leader Karunanidhi, ran in the Madurai, and won his debut run in national politics. Out of the 24 incumbents from the 2004 Election, who ran again in this election, only 10 incumbents won, with 7 of the members from the DMK and 3 of the members from the Indian National Congress (INC).
Even though it was a big victory for DMK and allies, Congress fared poorly in the state compared to DMK, where cabinet minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, who has been in power in Mayiladuturai constituency for 10 years, was defeated and P. Chidambaram, who has been in power in Sivaganga constituency, for past 25 years, lost according to the first counting, and won during the recount, barely winning his constituency.
Even though the opposition party failed to get more seats than the DMK and its allies, ADMK, improved its tally to 9 seats, from winning no seats in 2004. But the opposition allies (PMK, MDMK and Left Parties), significantly lost seats compared to the 2004 election, when they allied with DMK. PMK especially lost all 6 of its seats that it got in the last Lok Sabha, coming out as the biggest loser of this election in Tamil Nadu.
Seat allotments 
United Progressive Alliance 
|1.||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||M. Karunanidhi||22|
|2.||Indian National Congress||K.V. Thangabalu||15|
|3.||Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi||Thol. Thirumavalavan||2|
Third Front 
|1.||All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||J.Jayalalithaa||23|
|2.||Pattali Makkal Katchi||Dr. Ramdoss||6|
|3.||Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||Vaiko||4|
|4.||Communist Party of India (Marxist)||G.Ramakrishnan||3|
|5.||Communist Party of India||Tha. Pandian||3|
Voting and results 
Results by Pre-Poll Alliance 
|Alliance/Party||Seats won||Change†||Popular Vote||Vote %||Adj. %‡|
†: Seat change represents seats won in terms of the current alliances, which is considerably different from the last election.
‡: Vote % reflects the percentage of votes the party received compared to the entire electorate that voted in this election. Adjusted (Adj.) Vote %, reflects the % of votes the party received per constituency that they contested.
|Social Background/Category||UPA (DMK+)||AIADMK+||DMDK|
|Social Basis of voting|
|Large proportion of Congress voters shift to DMDK|
|AIADMK alliance does better among women, rural voters|
|Are Demands from LTTE justified?|
|Demand not justified||50%||29%||8%|
|Demand justified, but violence wrong||45%||38%||11%|
|Demand justified and violence unavoidable||35%||36%||14%|
Source: NES Election 2009 Analysis
Tamil Nadu not only proved to be a crucial swing state in this election, but was the biggest surprise in terms of results. The reason for this surprise is due to the fact that since 1998, arithmetic (Party that had the biggest alliance, in terms of numbers) usually prevailed in the general elections. Also before this election, the alliance that had PMK and MDMK, who usually carry ten seats combined, carried the state. But in this election that was not the case, since ADMK and its allies lost to a shrunken DMK alliance. Another reason why many believed DMK might not fare well is due to the public's disapproval of family succession in DMK politics, from Karunanidhi's (current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) family and the waning popularity of DMK and Congress over the previous few years. Against all odds, DMK was able to increase its seats from 16 to 18 seats, while PMK lost all of its seats, and MDMK went from four seats to one seat. AIADMK, having had no seats, was able to gain nine seats; nevertheless, its alliance did worse than expected from the party members. Even though Congress was part of the winning alliance, it contested more seats in this election and went from ten seats to eight seats. In terms of caste, the voting generally stayed the same as previous elections, even though the Vanniyar caste was won by DMK alliance even though PMK switched sides with AIADMK in early 2009. This is seen by many as a rebuke for the PMK from leaving the UPA to the Third Front. ADMK lost the upper caste vote that it won in the last 2004 election, due to vote splitting from BJP, but was able to gain the Thevar and OBC caste that it lost in 2004. While many expected DMK to lose some of its Muslim votes, especially with Maneedaneya Makkal Katchi trying to split the Muslim votes, DMK and its allies managed to retain their Muslim vote base.
More importantly, in this election many felt that the LTTE issue would play a big role in Tamil Nadu, due to its large share of LTTE sympathizers. But that was not the case, since DMK and AIADMK got an equal number of votes from them (with AIADMK doing slightly better with pro-LTTE voters), and the DMK victory cannot be attributed to this issue.
The DMDK, led by Vijaykanth, proved to be an important player in the 2006 Tamil Nadu assembly election, garnering 10% of the voters and securing 10.1% in this Lok Sabha election. According to the study, it secured more votes than the winning margins of candidates in about 25 constituencies. In 2006, polling showed that DMDK was able to get more DMK votes than AIADMK votes, but in this election according to the table on the right, they were able to wrestle more Congress voters from 2004, than any another party. Contrary to the claim of many in the AIADMK camp blaming DMDK for the defeat, there is no evidence for this to be true.
Overall, polling suggested that the overall popularity of the Central Government led by UPA proved to overcome the arithmetic factor, where they found 73% of the people in Tamil Nadu have a high satisfaction level for the UPA government. The polling also suggested that 37% of the voters preferred Karunanidhi over 34% for Jayalalithaa and 9% for Vijaykanth, proving that the corruption charges hoisted at the DMK government at the state level was not a factor. This is further supported by the high satisfaction of the public of 68% towards the state government. Also when asked whether a DMK led government (2006–present) or an AIADMK led government (2001–2006) was better, 42% of the voters said the current DMK+ government was better, while only 25% shared the view of the former AIADMK government. Overall the DMK front did much better amongst the poor, mostly due to welfare schemes such as free TV set distribution and lowered prices of rice, which could have been the biggest factor in why DMK alliance was able to garner 27 seats.
List of elected MPs 
Source: Election Commission of India
24 Incumbents (7 (DMK), 8 (INC), 5 (PMK), 1 (MDMK), 1 (CPM) from the 2004 Lok Sabha election ran in this election, either for the same constituency, or a different constituency. Since the UPA and the Left Front swept the last election, all of the incumbents were either from UPA or Left Front. 15 of them are now currently running for the UPA, while the other 7 candidates, from PMK, MDMK and CPM, are running for the Third Front.
|1. Thiruvallur (SC)||P. Venugopal||ADMK||31,673||S. Gayathri||DMK|
|2. Chennai North||T.K.S. Elangovan||DMK||19,153||D. Pandian||CPI|
|3. Chennai South||C. Rajendran||ADMK||32,935||R. S. Bharathy||DMK|
|4. Chennai Central||Dayanidhi Maran*||DMK||33,454||S. M. K. Mogamed Ali Jinnah||ADMK|
|5. Sriperumbudur||T.R. Baalu*||DMK||25,036||A. K. Moorthy*||PMK|
|6. Kancheepuram (SC)||P. Viswanathan||INC||13,103||E. Ramakrishnan||ADMK|
|7. Arakkonam||Jagathrakshakan||DMK||109,796||R. Velu*||PMK|
|8. Vellore||Abdulrahman||DMK||107,393||L. K. M. B. Vasu||ADMK|
|9. Krishnagiri||E.G. Sugavanam*||DMK||76,598||K. Nanjegowdu||ADMK|
|10. Dharmapuri||R. Thamaraiselvan||DMK||135,942||R. Senthil*||PMK|
|11. Tiruvannamalai||D. Venugopal*||DMK||148,300||J. Gurunathan||PMK|
|12. Arani||M. Krishnasamy||INC||106,830||N. Subramaniyan||ADMK|
|13. Viluppuram (SC)||M. Anandan||ADMK||2,797||K. Swamidurai||VCK|
|14. Kallakurichi||Sankar Adhi||DMK||108,608||K. Dhanaraju*||PMK|
|15. Salem||S. Semmalai||ADMK||46,491||K. V. Thangkabalu*||INC|
|16. Namakkal||S. Gandhiselvan||DMK||102,431||V. Vairam Tamilarasi||ADMK|
|17. Erode||A. Ganeshamurthi||MDMK||49,336||E. V. K. S. Elangovan*||INC|
|18. Tiruppur||C. Sivasami||ADMK||85,346||S. K. Kharventhan*||INC|
|19. Nilgiris (SC)||A. Raja*||DMK||86,021||Dr. C. Krishnan*||MDMK|
|20. Coimbatore||P.R. Natarajan||CPM||38,664||R. Prabhu*||INC|
|21. Pollachi||K. Sugumar||ADMK||46,025||K. Shanmugasundaram||DMK|
|22. Dindigul||N.S.V. Chitthan*||INC||54,347||P. Balasubramani||ADMK|
|23. Karur||M. Tambidurai||ADMK||47,254||K. C. Palanisamy||DMK|
|24. Tiruchirappalli||P. Kumar||ADMK||4,335||Sarubala R. Thondaiman||INC|
|25. Perambalur||D. Napoleon||DMK||77,604||K. K. Balasubramanian||ADMK|
|26. Cuddalore||S. Alagiri||INC||23,532||M. C. Sampath||ADMK|
|27. Chidambaram (SC)||Thol. Thirumaavalavan||VCK||99,083||E. Ponnuswamy*||PMK|
|28. Mayiladuturai||O.S. Manian||ADMK||36,854||Mani Shankar Aiyar*||INC|
|29. Nagapattinam (SC)||A.K.S. Vijayan*||DMK||47,962||M. Selvaraj||CPI|
|30. Thanjavur||S.S. Palanimanickam*||DMK||101,787||Durai Balakrishnan||MDMK|
|31. Sivaganga||P. Chidambaram*||INC||3,354||R. S. Raja Kannappan||ADMK|
|32. Madurai||M.K. Azhagiri||DMK||140,985||P. Mohan*||CPM|
|33. Theni||J.M. Aaron Rashid*||INC||6,302||Thanga Tamilselvan||ADMK|
|34. Virudhunagar||Manicka Tagore||INC||15,764||Vaiko||MDMK|
|35. Ramanathapuram||Sivakumar||DMK||69,915||V. Sathiamoorthy||ADMK|
|36. Thoothukkudi||S.R. Jeyadurai||DMK||76,649||Dr. Cynthia Pandian||ADMK|
|37. Tenkasi (SC)||P. Lingam||CPI||34,677||K. Vellaipandi||INC|
|38. Tirunelveli||S. Ramasubbu||INC||21,303||K. Annamalai||ADMK|
|39. Kanniyakumari||J. Helen Davidson||DMK||65,687||P. Radhakrishnan||BJP|
* - represents incumbents in previous Lok Sabha (2004–2009) from Tamil Nadu.
a - Defeated candidate and party represents candidate and party that got the second most votes.
Post-election Union Council of Ministers from Tamil Nadu 
Cabinet Ministers 
|Minister||Party||Lok Sabha Constituency/Rajya Sabha||Portfolios|
|P. Chidambaram||INC||Sivaganga||Ministry of Finance|
|Dayanidhi Maran||DMK||Chennai Central||Minister of Textiles|
|A. Raja||DMK||Nilgiris (SC)||Minister of Communications and Information Technology|
|G K Vasan||INC||Rajya Sabha||Minister of Shipping|
|M. K. Azhagiri||DMK||Madurai||Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers|
Ministers of State 
|Minister||Party||Lok Sabha Constituency/Rajya Sabha||Portfolios|
|V. Narayanasamy||INC||Pondicherry||Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Planning|
|S. S. Palanimanickam||DMK||Thanjavur||Ministry of Finance|
|D. Napoleon||DMK||Perambalur||Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment|
|S. Jagathrakshakan||DMK||Arakkonam||Ministry of Information and Broadcasting|
 - Due to his involvement with the 2G spectrum financial scam, A. Raja resigned as cabinet minister and MP on 14 November 2010. (See Spectrum Scandal)
 - Resigned on July 7, 2011 due to the CBI investigation on his involvement as Telecom minister in 2006.
See also 
- "Election Commission of India". Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- "Is the DMK family war out in open?". Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- DMK blinks, Raja quits - Hindustan Times
- 2G scam: Dayanidhi Maran resigns from cabinet, to be quizzed by CBI