Barring in 1991, the polling percentage in Karnataka has been far higher than the national average and it remains to be seen whether people of Karnataka will repeat it on Thursday.
An analysis of the polling since 1951, shows that at least half the electorate have cast their vote in each of the 15 general elections.
Even in the first election, when the national average was below 45 per cent, Karnataka recorded 51.93 per cent — which is the lowest for the State. The highest polling was recorded in 1989 (67.58 per cent). In eight of the 15 elections, the polling percentage was above 60 per cent and in four elections (1984, 1989, 1999 and 2004) it was more than 65 per cent.
P.L. Dharma, political science professor of Mangalore University, said good education levels and the relations political parties here keep with the people have contributed to this. He cites the examples of land reforms during the D. Devaraj Urs administration and the attention given to reservation for backward classes, as examples.
While the political party accused of practising communalism tended to reduce communal violence when it was in power, political awareness created over the issue had ensured that people hit the polling booths in greater number.