Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the next Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
According to the Department of elections, Mr Maithripala Sirisena received 6,217,162 or 51.28% of the vote, and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa received 5,768,000 or 47.58% of the vote. So, it is incorrect to say “over 6.4 million people gave a mandate to the President. The difference in the vote was in fact 449, 162.
It is interesting to note that the vote in the Northern and Eastern provinces, predominantly Tamil in the Northern province and around 65% Tamil and Muslim in the Eastern province , and combined with the Nuwara Eliya district, predominantly Tamils, gave Mr Sirisena 1,240, 716 votes.
Even if some discounting is done to account for some Sinhala votes in these areas, it is not rocket science to say Mr Sirisena would not have won without the vote of the Tamils and Muslims in the geographic areas mentioned.
It also needs to be noted that except in these areas, and the Kandy, Colombo and Pollonnaruwa districts, and very narrowly in the Gampaha, Puttalam, and Badulla district (which Mr Sirisena won by just 281 votes), Mr Rajapaksa had won by vote percentages ranging from 52% to 63% (in Hambantota).
It is clear from these statistics that should a general election be held now, Mr Rajapaksa’s popularity would matter more than Mr Sirisena’s as the latter could not have won without the backing of the UNP, the JVP, the JHU, the democratic party and the minority vote.
If one were to deduct the vote Mr Sirisena received in the Northern and Eastern provinces, and the Nuwara Eliya district, his vote would have been 4,976,446 or 40.57% of the total valid votes cast. He would not have been the President today.
Judging by the votes that the JVP received in the Western, Southern and Uva provincial council elections in 2014, which ranges from 5.7% to 9.05% (in the Southern provincial council election), and the votes received by Mr Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic party in the Western and Southern provincial council elections (7.97% and 6.27% respectively), it would be safe to say these two parties would have contributed anything from 5 – 10% of the national vote Mr Sirisena received at the Presidential election.
If one takes a national average of the UNP vote based on what they received in these provinces in 2014, it would not exceed 27%. That is Mr Wickremasinghe’s legacy to the UNP.
This means that the SLFP vote Mr Sirisena received nationally would have been very small and perhaps not more than 2 -5% of the total vote.
This leaves a SLFP led by him without support from Mr Rajapaksa in a very vulnerable position, as the winners at a general election would be all other parties except the SLFP. On the contrary, should Mahinda Rajapksa lead the SLFP or actively support the SLFP at the next general election he could lead it to victory as the largest single party in Parliament with a very strong possibility, based on the Presidential election voting pattern, of securing a simple majority, and being able to form a government on its own.
Which ever way you see it, Mahinda Rajapaksa is the king maker.
All voting calculations analysisd by lankapage