Here are brief accounts of district wise performances by candidates at Monday’s parliamentary elections:
COLOMBO DISTRICT: Almost a reverse of the 2010 parliamentary elections. This time the UNP secured 53 per cent as against 36.1 percent in 2010. The UPFA obtained 39.2 percent of the votes as against the 53 percent. The UNP returned 11 members and the UPFA seven. In 2010, the UPFA won 10 seats and seven this time.
The JVP suffered a setback compared to the 2010 elections. It gained only 6.73 percent of the vote as against 11.78 in 2010 when it contested under the Democratic National Alliance. It won two seats then and one this time.
It was virtual marching orders out of politics for Sri Lanka’s highest decorated soldier, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who was a presidential candidate in 2010. His Democratic Party recorded a measly 0.43 per or 5,238 votes almost the same as just four full strength battalions.
Rosy Senanayake, State Minister for Child Development in the caretaker cabinet and vocal proponent for greater women’s representation in Parliament, lost. She is being tipped for a diplomatic appointment in Europe.
UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe won the highest number of preferential votes obtaining more than half a million.
GAMPAHA DISTRICT: At the January Presidential election, a combination of parties that backed President Sirisena won only by 4,660 votes. At Monday’s elections the UNP, contesting on its own, had a majority of 27,046 votes.
The UPFA gained 63.37 percent of the votes in 2010. It was reduced to 44.92 percent this time. The UNP which had only 28.65 percent of the vote in 2010 increased its vote base to 47.13 percent.
The JVP retained its 2010 vote base getting above seven percent as in 2010.
The Democratic Party was routed obtaining only 0.38 percent of the vote. Leading the DP’s list of candidates was Anoma Fonseka, wife of Field Marshal Fonseka.
The UNP’s victory in the district came despite only winning in five of the electorates — Wattala, Negombo, Katana, Ja-Ela and Kelaniya. Except in Kelaniya, all other electorates have a strong Christian/Catholic vote base. Losing this time was Joseph Michael Perera, a former Speaker and former MP for Ja-Ela. Though the electorate was won, he lost the District vote.
The UPFA won in Divulaptiya, Mirigama, Attanagalla, Minuwangoda, Gampaha, Mahara, Dompe and Biyagama.
KALUTARA DISTRICT: The UPFA gained only 48.56 percent, but still won the district by 28,567 votes. It won 63.68 percent of the votes in 2010.
In contrast, the UNP which gained only 28.32 percent in 2010 received 44.47 this time. The UNP increased the number of MPs from two to four. The UPFA’s members dropped from seven to five.
The JVP which contested under the DNA in 2010 gained 7.45 percent. It had one seat. This time it retained this seat in what was a poor performance with its number of votes being reduced to 5.52 percent.
KANDY DISTRICT: Compared to 2010, the UNP made substantial gains. From 34.48 percent it increased its vote base to 55.57 percent, thereby regaining power in its traditional stronghold. The UPFA in contrast, fell from 60.77 percent to 55.57 percent. Thus it only won five seats as against eight previously.
The UNP won all electorates in the Kandy district, except Udu Dumbara. The UNP also increased its victory margins in most of the electorates (Galagedara from 31.1 percent to 50.87 percent, Harispattuwa 37.6 percent to 56.7 percent, Patha Dumbara from 38.65 percent to 59.5 percent, Teldeniya 33.71 percent to 52 percent, Hewaheta from 33.71 percent to 58.55 percent among others).
The JVP received only 3.87 of the vote — a marginal drop from 4.24 percent in 2010.
MATALE DISTRICT: UPFA votes decreased to 45.54 percent as against 66.96 percent in 2010. It won only two seats as against four the last time. The UNP votes increased from 28.47 percent to 49.84 percent and it won three seats.
NUWARA ELIYA: UNP votes increased by 22 percent this time whilst the UPFA votes dropped by 18 percent. The UNP increased its number of seats from two to five.
GALLE DISTRICT: The UPFA won in nine of the 10 electorates. However, its vote base was reduced by 16 percent compared to the 2010 elections. The UNP increased its vote base from 26 percent in 2010 to 42 per cent. This showed that the UNP votes did not come only from the minority community.
MATARA DISTRICT: The UPFA won the district but its votes were reduced by 13 percent compared to 2010. The UNP increased its votes by about 12 percent.
JVP stalwart Sunil Handunnetti lost. He has been appointed on the JVP National List together with Sarath Chandra Mayadunne. The JVP, however, made a gain from 6.25 percent in 2010 to 7.38 per cent.
HAMBANTOTA DISTRICT: A salient feature was the high turnout of 81 percent. A 10 percent drop in the UPFA vote was recorded. Its increase in votes was only three percent. Nirupama Rajapaksa, a member of the Rajapaksa clan, lost.
Though he did not taken part in the national election campaign for his party, UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa failed to substantially increase his party’s vote base. It rose by 5.6 percent or to 35.65 percent as against the previous 29.86 per cent.
KURUNEGALA DISTRICT: The district was a focal point as former President Rajapaksa was contesting. The UPFA’s vote base dropped by 14 percent compared to the 2010 elections. It was then 63.84 percent. Its number of seats was reduced from ten to seven.
The UNP seats increased from five to eight. Rajapaksa obtained 423,529 preference votes. UNP District leader Akila Viraj Kariyawasam secured 286,155 preference votes.
The UPFA secured victories in 11 of the 14 electorates ceding three to the UNP.
PUTTALAM DISTRICT: The UNP increased its number of seats to five from the previous two. The UPFA tally dropped from six to three seats. The UNP also increased its vote base by 20 percent while the UPFA’s dropped by 22 percent.
The difference was as high as 46 percent – the UPFA 19 percent and the UNP 66 percent. The UPFA gained 56 percent of the vote last time, but there was a 36 percent drop this time.
BADULLA DISTRICT: The credit for the UNP’s victory should go to Harin Fernando who won 200,806 preference votes. The UNP’s seats increased from two to five though the party won all nine electorates from where it got 258,844 votes.
The UPFA majority dropped from 58 percent to 38 percent. The UNP increased its vote base from 32 percent to 54 percent compared to 2010.
The UPFA won though its majority was lowered. In 2010 the UPFA gained 75 percent of the vote, but this was reduced to 52 percent while the UNP vote increased from 18 percent in 2010 to 41 percent this time.
ANURADHAPURA DISTRICT: A closely fought campaign led to a difference of a mere 16,784 votes. The UPFA won five seats and the UNP four. In most of the electorates too, there were close competition. In Medawachchiya, the vote difference was only 2,524 votes in favour of the UPFA; in Horowpathana the difference was only 997 votes for the UNP, in Mihintale it was a difference of a paltry 2,120 in favour of the UPFA and in Kekirawa it was even less — 791 vote being the difference in favour of the UNP.
However in the Kalawewa electorate the difference was 10,000 votes in favour of the UPFA.
POLONNARUWA DISTRICT: The home base of President Maithripala Sirisena was won by the UNP. It gained 50 percent of the vote while the UPFA ended with 43.6 per cent. At the 2010 parliamentary elections, the UPFA gained nearly 70 percent of the vote while the UNP had only 26.6 percent.
The JVP increased its vote from 3.77 percent to 5.71 at this election.
RATNAPURA DISTRICT: The UPFA gained 51 percent of the vote as against 45 percent for the UNP. However, the UNP seats increased from three to five and the UPFA dropped from seven to six. In 2010, the Ratnapura district had ten seats. It has now been increased to 11. A murder suspect in remand custody obtained the highest number of preference votes in the District.
KEGALLE DISTRICT: The UNP won the district with a margin of 20,259 votes or a thin margin of four percent. As a result it secured a bonus seat and won five seats as against the two it previously held.
The UPFA seats dropped from seven to four.
The JVP’s vote base was almost the same it had in 2010.
Voting patterns in the Northern and Eastern Provinces show that support for the UPFA has eroded sharply when compared to the parliamentary elections in 2010. In contrast, the UNP had increased its vote base. The TNA which contested under the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) since it is yet to register itself held on to most of its seats in the two provinces.
JAFFNA DISTRICT: In the Jaffna district, the ITAK managed to hold onto the five seats it won in 2010. The EPDP and the UNP won one each. If the TNA’s manifesto had sought a federal system and a merged northern and eastern provinces within a united Sri Lanka, others whose campaigns were more focused on appealing to hardline sentiments fuelled by the hardline Tamil Diaspora failed to evoke a majority vote. Yet, there is a strong message in this for the National Government. The nine seats here were reduced to seven by the Department of Elections after the population census.
WANNI DISTRICT: The TNA (ITAK) won four seats while the UNP and the UPFA won one each. In 2010 the ITAK won three seats while the UPFA won two and the UNP one.
BATTICALOA DISTRICT: The TNA retained the three seats it won in 2010. It won over 53 percent of the votes. The UPFA won one seat in 2010 but did not win a seat this time. The SLMC also retained a single seat which it had also won in 2010. The UNP won one seat.
DIGAMADULLA DISTRICT: The UNP secured over 46 percent of the vote and gained four seats. The UPFA won two and the TNA (ITAK) one. In 2010, the UPFA won four seats, the UNP two and the TNA (ITAK) one. Sarath Weerasekera, a former Navy officer lost.
TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT: The UNP secured over 46 percent of the votes winning two seats. The TNA (ITAK) won one and the UPFA one. In 2010, the UPFA won two seats.