Elections in Tamil Nadu

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Former Governor-General of India, Sri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, with M.Karunanidhi (right) and Chief Minister of Madras C. N. Annadurai (left) in January 1968
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu C. N. Annadurai (3rd from left) with his rival Rajaji and proteges M.G.Ramachandran and M.Karunanidhi in January 1968

Elections in Tamil Nadu are conducted every five years to elect the State assembly and its share of members to the Lok Sabha. There are 234 assembly constituencies and 39 Lok Sabha constituencies. The state has conducted 14 assembly elections and 15 Lok Sabha elections since independence.

Assembly constituencies[edit]

Tamil Nadu has 234 assembly constituencies. The Chief Minister of the state is elected by legislators of the political party or coalition commanding an assembly majority, and serves a five-year term with a provision of re-election. The Governor is the head of state, but his or her role is largely ceremonial.

Lok Sabha constituencies[edit]

The Lok Sabha is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India. As of 2011 there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India. Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Rajya Sabha[edit]

The Rajya Sabha is the indirectly elected upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya Sabha members are elected by state legislators of Tamil Nadu who elect a total of 18 members. Election to Rajya Sabha held in 1996, 2013.

Assembly elections[edit]

The last assembly election took place in April 2011, which resulted in AIADMK and its allies winning. The next election should take place around May 2016. The election can take place much earlier if the current alliance loses the vote of confidence, or if parties in the ruling alliance leaves, which results in President's rule and fresh elections will be held. Since AIADMK got a majority on its own, it is expected that they will complete the full term.[1]

Madras Presidency[edit]

The state of Tamil Nadu had its beginnings in the Madras Presidency which was created in 1685. Initially, the Presidency was administered by a President who was advised by an Executive Council in the administration of the province. A legislative council came into being in 1861 by the Indian Councils Act 1861. The members of the council were nominated. In November 1920, by the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms, the existing structure of the legislative council was modified by the addition of elected members and the first elections were held in December 1920. From 1920 till India's independence in 1947, with the exception of the Second World War period, regular elections were held on a three-year basis. Initially, the electorate was limited to zamindars, district board chairmans and influential people. In 1935, the electorate was enlarged by the Government of India Act 1935. In 1952, the electorate was finally large enough to cover all legal citizens of the province over the age of 18.

The Justice Party won a majority in the assembly in the 1920, 1923 and 1930 elections. It formed a minority government in the 1934 elections and lost in the 1926, 1937 and 1946 elections. The assembly was dissolved in 1939 when the Congress ministry of C. Rajagopalachari resigned and no elections were held in 1940 and 1943. The Swaraj Party won majorities in the 1926 and the 1934 elections but did not form the government. It did not contest the 1920 elections and contested and won as a part of the Indian National Congress in 1937.


Year Election Winning Party/Coalition Chief Minister
1937 First Assembly Indian National Congress* C. Rajagopalachari
1946 Second Assembly Indian National Congress 1) T. Prakasam
2) Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiar
3) P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja

Madras state[edit]

The Madras state was created in 1950 when India became a republic. In 1968, the name of Madras state was changed to Tamil Nadu.

Year Election Winning Party/Coalition Chief Minister
1952 First Assembly Indian National Congress* 1) C. Rajagopalachari
2) K. Kamaraj
1957 Second Assembly Indian National Congress K. Kamaraj (2)
1962 Third Assembly Indian National Congress 1) K. Kamaraj (3)
2) M. Bakthavatsalam
1967 Fourth Assembly Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1) C.N. Annadurai
2) M. Karunanidhi

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Stacked bar graph with number of seats won in the legislative assembly elections from 1957-2011
Year Election Winning Party/Coalition Chief Minister
1971 Fifth Assembly Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M. Karunanidhi (2)
1977 Sixth Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M.G. Ramachandran
1980 Seventh Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M.G. Ramachandran (2)
1984 Eighth Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M.G. Ramachandran (3)
Janaki Ramachandran
1989 Ninth Assembly Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M. Karunanidhi (3)
1991 Tenth Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
ADMK-164; ADMK+ 225/234
DMK-2, DMK+ 7/234)
J. Jayalalithaa
1996 Eleventh Assembly Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(DMK + Tamil Manila + CPI = 221/234;
ADMK - 4 seats)
M. Karunanidhi (4)
2001 Twelfth Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
ADMK+ 196/234
ADMK-132, TMC-23, PMK-20, INC-7
DMK+ 37; DMK-31
J. Jayalalithaa (2)
O. Panneerselvam
J. Jayalalithaa (3)
2006 Thirteenth Assembly Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
DMK+ 163/234, DMK-96, INC-34, PMK-18
AIADMK+ 69/234, ADMK-61/69
M. Karunanidhi (5)
2011 Fourteenth Assembly Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
AIADMK+ 203/234, ADMK-150/203, DMDK-29
CPI/M 10+9
DMK+ 31 (DMK-23, INC-5)
J. Jayalalithaa (4)
O. Paneerselvam (2)
J. Jayalalithaa (5)
  • Note: In 1952, no party could form a majority, which resulted in the first government in the state that was formed without a majority.

†: Indicates a coalition government, since no single party could gain a majority of seats.


Election Year Winning Party/Coalition Seats Won - Seats Lost
1997–98 DMK 3-0
1999–2000 DMK-MADMK 3-2
2002–03 AIADMK 5-0
2004–05 AIADMK 2-1
2006–07 DMK-INC 2-0
2009–10 DMK-INC 9-0

Election Maps (1977-2011)[edit]

Lok Sabha elections[edit]

Stacked bar graph with number of seats won in the Lok Sabha elections from 1957-2009

15 Lok Sabha elections have been contested in India since independence starting 1951. The elections held in Tamil Nadu are listed below.

Year Lok Sabha Election Winning Party/Coalition
1951 First Lok Sabha Indian National Congress
1957 Second Lok Sabha Indian National Congress
1962 Third Lok Sabha Indian National Congress
1967 Fourth Lok Sabha United Front (DMK/SWA/CPM/ML)*
1971 Fifth Lok Sabha Congress (Indira) alliance (DMK/INC/CPI/FBL/ML)
1977 Sixth Lok Sabha Congress (Indira) alliance (ADMK/INC/CPI)* 34/39;
1980 Seventh Lok Sabha Congress (Indira) alliance (DMK/INC/ML) - 37/39, AIADMK - 2 seats
1984 Eighth Lok Sabha Congress alliance (ADMK/INC) - 37 out of 39 seats
1989 Ninth Lok Sabha Congress alliance (ADMK/INC) - 38/39
1991 Tenth Lok Sabha Congress alliance (ADMK/INC) - 39/39 seats
1996 Eleventh Lok Sabha United Front (DMK/TMC/CPI) - 39/39 seats
1998 Twelfth Lok Sabha National Democratic Alliance (ADMK/BJP/PMK/MDMK/JP/TRC) - 30/39, DMK+TMC= 8-9 seats
1999 Thirteenth Lok Sabha National Democratic Alliance (DMK/BJP/PMK/MDMK/MADMK) - 26/39 seats
2004 Fourteenth Lok Sabha Democratic Progressive Alliance (DMK/INC/PMK/MDMK/CPI/CPM) - 39/39
2009 Fifteenth Lok Sabha United Progressive Alliance (DMK/INC/VCK) 27 out of 39; ADMK - 10-12 seats
2014 Sixteenth Lok Sabha All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - 37/39
  • Note: In 1967, DMK and its 25 newly elected MPs supported the Congress, under Indira Gandhi after the election.
  • Note: Even though ADMK supported and campaigned with Congress for the 1977 election, after the loss nationally, ADMK and its newly elected 17 MPs supported Morarji Desai and the Janata Party and its alliance, giving them 20 seats (ADMK, NCO) while the other 17 seats (INC, CPI) and 2 seats (DMK) were in the opposition with Indira Gandhi.

Election Maps (1977-2014)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Schedule 2016". infoelections. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015. 

External links[edit]