Joint Opposition Can Win 117 Seats in a Parliamentary Election Today
Posted on May 6th, 2017

Dilrook Kannangara

This is an estimate of voting power of each party can be assessed based on the ground extent.

All grounds were packed so their extent can be used as a gauge of strength. SLFP, JVP, UNP and JO held their rallies in grounds with the extents of 2.4, 2.4, 3.8 and 18.7 acres each.

Minorities generally don’t attend may day rallies which is an annual feature. A few would attend CWC and other rallies but these don’t come any closer to major parties. Therefore the 25% minorities are allocated to major political groupings by 2015 August election results (20% to the UNP-TNA-SLMC and 5% to SLFP-ACMC-CWC part of it tickling down to the JO).

These are the resultant percentages and number of parliamentary seats if a parliamentary election is hel

JVP – 7% (13 seats)

SLFP-ACMC-CWC – 12% (25 seats)

UNP-TNA-SLMC – 30% (70 seats)

JO – 51% (117 seats)

The Joint Opposition has a clear and unassailable advantage over all other parties. With a likely win of 117 seats, the JO can face a parliamentary election alone and win. As the single largest political party, it can easily win 14 district bonus seats (included).

However, despite a 51% votes percentage estimated, it may not go the JO way at a presidential election. This is because at a presidential election, UNP, TNA, SLFP and JVP will most likely contest once again from the same platform against the JO. If these parties held a May Day rally together, it would have easily become much larger than the sum of their individual rallies. Though still smaller than the JO’s rally, when minority votes and upper and upper middle class sections of the society that never participate in May Day rallies are factored, a combined coalition (Swan Alliance) will edge out the JO in a presidential election with synergy supporting them.

Election fraud in the north, east, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo districts and double voting by a significant percentage of voters in these districts will also tip the scales in favour of the Swan Alliance. In a parliamentary election, the impact of double voting is confined to the district. Even if, for argument sake, a district has a 90% voters turnout due to fraud, the total number of seats that district can have will not change. Due to the formula of allocating seats, the impact will be further dented. No matter how peaceful the election is, the affected districts are UNP-TNA-SLMC strongholds. UNP-TNA-SLMC wins them almost by default.

Incumbency advantage is huge in a presidential election whereas it is relatively small for parliamentary elections. All incumbents won a second term in presidential elections. Mahinda is the only incumbent to lose a presidential election.

All contesting presidents won the second term which is a 100% success rate for the incumbent. However, in parliamentary elections, only 4 out of 15 elections had the incumbent ruling party winning it. A miserable 27% success rate. In other words, the JO has three times more chances of winning a parliamentary election than a presidential election.

The JO has reason to be confident of winning a parliamentary election, however, it should not be cocky about winning a presidential election. At least not yet.

13 Responses to “Joint Opposition Can Win 117 Seats in a Parliamentary Election Today”

  1. ranjit Says:

    Presidential election is more favorable to JO than the parliamentary elections because Sirisena is not popular with the public nor has done anything valuable to the country except approving Run Nil’s dirty work selling our assets and the land. The man who told he will live as a simple man spends more money on posters, cut outs and on various unnecessary tamashas more than the previous President and the government. RUNNIL the manipulator will not win any election at all because no one trust this old goat who is a traitor to our country from the day one he became the leader of the UNP rich man’s party.

    I hope people in this country will not repeat their stupidity again by voting for Sira/ Run nil two headed snake. Ending the thirty years of war is enough to give your vote to president Mahinda Rajapaksa. If the war is there still just imagine the situation in the country. What Mahinda did was not a small thing to forget so easily. All the previous Presidents, Prime ministers couldn’t or even think of stopping the war but he did in two years. It was a great achievement in my thinking. We owe him our gratitude and appreciation for life. Actually he gave us new hope and life to live freely.

    We have forgiven him for his mistakes and now we need him very badly to save our motherland from this evil trio Sira/Run nil/ Bandit queen. I hope irrespective of colour, religion, party people will support his policies and bring him back to take over the reins to fulfill our dreams and aspirations. May lord Buddha helps our people and the SINHALA land from all evils and make our land prosperous and free again.

  2. Kumari Says:

    JO will take a minimum of 150. That is what Mahinda gave to brain dead Sirisena. With the actions of treacherous Ranil, the average UNP er has lost faith in the party. Majority Sri Lankans irrespective of race and religion want to save the country. Mahinda is the cast iron guarantee for such expectations.

    Jayawewa! Chiran Jayathu.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Bravo, Kumari …. I think so too!

    When the PATRIOTIC TSUNAMI HITS, all normal statistical considerations will be overturned!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:


    In the next Presidential Election, the “huge” incumbency advantage you refer to will not be Sirisena’s because the Mahinda is even better known than Sirisena and is really still considered to be the TRUE President of the nation by many Sri Lankans.

    Because of term limitation under 19A, if Gota runs for the President supported by Mahinda as leader of the JO,p given the totally destructive performance of government under Sirisena, Gota will win hands down.

    Then 19A can be repealed and Mahinda can contest for the Presidency for the next term. He will win Hands Down if Gota’s previous term as President is not botched!


    Dear All

    Dilrook’s forecasts are normally pretty accurate. The JO ought to be delighted with the current trends. However, if this government is allowed to run its full terms, then by that time, we will have an disintegrated island worse than Pre Mahinda Rajapakse era.

    Reliable and respectable Dilook’s predictions and JO May Day public response, should send a clear message to patriotic members of Parliament, if any, to join forces en bloc with the Joint Opposition, without waiting for the end of term or an early general election.

  6. mahesh fernando Says:

    Before the elections JO should gather as much as SLFP members who are with the government. With their help JO will be able instill the maximum thrust against UNP, the unpatriotic party. The JO should not depend only the May Day victory.

    Mahesh Fernando from CA USA

  7. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you Dr Dissanayake. I correctly estimated the percentages of Mahinda’s vote at presidential elections of 2005, 2010 and 2015 to the first digit. And the parliamentary election number of seats of 2004, 2010 and 2015 +/- 3 seats of the UPFA (+/-1 seat for each district). Well known political strategists of both major parties are keen followers of my estimates since 2005.

    I don’t publish these but there are plenty of contributors and commentators here who are part of a closed discussion group where I have shared this information.

    Please note that this is the position as at now. If the trend continues (from Kirulapone 2016 to Galle Face 2017), winning the presidential election in 2019 will be easier than now.

    What you say is exactly the point I’m trying to make. The parliament cannot be dissolved until February 2020 and the presidential term ends on January 8, 2020 and elections must be held by November 2019. This is the constitutional dilemma the JO is in. It was deliberate on the part of Sirisena to have it this way. If things continue like this till 2019, there won’t anything left in the nation. Therefore, patriotic sections of the parliament must realise where the people are and join forces with the JO (inside and may be outside parliament) to stop this madness.

    The government plans to pass various anti-Constitutional Acts (foreign exchange bill, extradition bill, constitutional amendments) which require two thirds. A few SLFP MPs taking a neutral stand at least can defeat these. Since the parliament will remain until February 2020, this is the only way to defeat these bills.

    The JO on its part must not rest. It must keep doing what is has been doing lately. There is a long march ahead.

  8. AnuD Says:

    I am pretty sure Hilary Clinton also thought the same.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with Dilrook that the various UNPATRIOTIC Bills presented by the Yahap folk must be put down by the PATRIOTIC forces in the Parliament before the country goes further into the pits.

    The MPs must be made aware that Playtime & Fun(d) times are finished and serious business is at hand now, or else lose the country.

  10. Christie Says:

    ඉන්දියානු බවයක් නැති අපි ඔක්කොම ඉන්දියානු අඩිරදයේ යටත් වැසියෝ.

    ඉන්දියාවත් ඉන්දියානු පරපෝසිතයනුත් අපිව පාලනය කරනවා.

    මෙය වටහාගන්න.


    ඉන්දියානු අදිරදයටත් ඉන්දියානු පරපෝසිතයන්ටත් එරෙහිව නැගීසිටින්න.

  11. Vichara Says:

    Could Dilrook share the basis of his calculations?

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    Constitutional proposals contrary to promises given by Prez, PM-NJC
    May 7, 2017, 10:44 pm

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    The National Joint Committee (NJC) has alleged that recently unveiled constitutional proposals are at variance with repeated assurances given by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding matters of crucial national importance, including the status of Buddhism.

    The NJC alleges that controversial proposals are contained in an interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly tasked with the constitution making process.

    Constitutional affairs expert Manohara de Silva, PC, said that in the wake of strong public criticism of the Report on Public Representations on Constitutional Reform (Lal Wijenayake Committee) and reports of Six Sub Committees, the government had reassured that foremost place would be given to Buddhism.

    Addressing the media at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, attorney-at-law de Silva flayed the yahapalana government for seeking to deprive Buddhism of its foremost place, do away with unitary status of the Constitution and transform Sri Lanka to nine federal governments.

    The lawyer pointed out that in accordance with the repeated promises given by yahapalana leaders, the Steering Committee should not have interfered with Article 9 meant to ensure Buddhism the foremost place while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e). Instead, the Steering Committee had made six recommendations in respect of Buddhism/Religion in addition to the existing Article 9.

    NJC heavyweight Gevindu Cumaratunga said that the government had accused those opposed to the ongoing constitutional making process of propagating lies. The government repeatedly alleged attempts were being made to sabotage post-war reconciliation process, Cumaratunga said. There couldn’t be any justification for proposing four recommendations in place of Article 1 and Article 2 that dealt with unitary status of Sri Lanka, Cumaratunga said.

    Alleging that the government was bending backwards to appease those wanting to divide Sri Lanka on ethnic lines and transform the country into nine federal areas, Cumaratunga said that proposals were meant to empower Provincial Council to such an extent they would enjoy unprecedented powers at the expense of the central government.

    Cumaratunga said that the Joint Opposition had quite rightly rejected the entire interim report toto.

    Commenting on proposed provision in respect of merger of two or three neighbouring Provinces, Cumaratunga said that the government objective was to restrict referendum in case of a merger of the Provinces concerned. The move was meant to facilitate the merger of the Eastern Province with the North, Cumaratunga said, pointing out that the government wanted to do away with the country’s ability to exercise franchise as one electorate.

    Cumaratunga explained the circumstances under which Provincial Councils could take control over land at the expense of the government. The civil society activist alleged that the central government would be at the mercy of provincial government if a particular administration declined land required for security purpose.

    Recommendations pertaining to introducing amendments to the proposed Constitution in case adopted by parliament were meant to thwart any such move, Cumaratunga said. According to him, an amendment couldn’t be moved unless it received a two-thirds majority in the proposed Second Chamber comprising five members representing each Provincial Government and also obtained two-thirds majority in Provincial Governments.

    PC de Silva and Cumaratunga dealt with recommendations in respect of devolution of powers and how the process could endanger the unitary status much to the disappointment of the vast majority of people. They asserted that the elimination of the Concurrent List, limiting Reserve List, Provincial Government given the authority to implementing laws in respect of subjects coming under the purview of the Central Government, subject of national Policy to be removed from the Reserve List, sharp dilution of powers currently exercised by Governor vis a vis Chief Minister to pave the way for the former to take decisions in consultation with the latter.

    Cumaratunga pointed out that recommendations had been made to deprive the Governor the authority to intervene in the Provincial Statutes. The activist said that the Steering Committee had gone to the extent of recommending an unprecedented Constitutional Court to decide on constitutionality of Provincial Statutes.

    Cumaratunga urged political parties to examine the threat posed by setting up judicial mechanism outside the existing system. “We are heading for chaos, unprecedented turmoil,” Cumaratunga warned, faulting successive governments for not abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution forced on JRJ government by India three decades ago.

    The NJC pointed out that the 13th Amendment had considerably eroded supremacy and sovereignty of parliament thereby undermined significantly the unitary status. PC de Silva said: “Article 154 G (3) requires a majority of 2/3 of the members of parliament to repeal or amend laws passed by a Provincial Council whereas it only needs a simple majority to repeal or amend own laws.”

    PC de Silva said that the Parliament needed a two-thirds majority to only amend the Constitution and not amend ordinary laws.

    The NJC said that a wider discussion involving all stakeholders was required and a cohesive effort made to educate the people of the despicable project. Cumaratunga said that giving in to separatist demands was as worse as losing the war.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Constitutional Reforms debate likely end June
    Monday, May 8, 2017 – 01:00

    Disna Mudalige

    A debate on Constitutional reforms by the Constitutional Assembly is likely to take place towards the end of June.

    The interim report of the Steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be placed before the Assembly next month, a member of the Steering Committee told the Daily News yesterday.

    A copy of the same would be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena. The interim report, which deals with the vital aspects of Constitutional reforms including the electoral reforms, devolution of power and nature of the State, spells out the contours of the Constitutional Bill. A member of the Steering Committee said a draft interim report prepared by the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat was circulated among the Committee members last week.

    “The draft report is given in all three languages. All members of the Steering Committee have been asked to make their comments, if any, on the report in writing on or before May 23,” he said.

    The Steering Committee is to sit consecutively from May 23-26 to consider the responses of the members and finalize the report. “Through compromise and negotiation, we will try to reach a consensus during these meetings. Where there is no consensus, the members will be allowed to mention their own positions in the report. Likewise, the dissenting views will also be accommodated,” he explained.

    However, it is learnt that this is the third draft interim report presented to the Steering Committee. The Committee members were unable to reach an agreement on the two previous drafts. The latest draft has taken into account all the deliberations up to last Tuesday’s meeting, the Steering Committee sources said.

    Sources said the President has regularly been kept informed of all developments at the Steering Committee.

    When contacted Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, one of the two members who represent the JO in the Steering Committee spoke in very negative terms on the Constitutional drafting process stating it seriously lacks transparency.

    “The JO flatly rejected the two previously submitted draft interim reports. We have been making our contribution actively at the Steering Committee. However, the government wants to do everything in secrecy keeping the others in the dark. We do not have secrets when it comes to matters that affect the country and national security,” he commented.

    The reports of six sub-committees on ‘Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Public Service, Law and Order, Centre-Periphery’ were presented to the Constitutional Assembly by the Prime Minister on November 19. A three-day debate on Constitutional reforms initially scheduled for January 9 was postponed indefinitely as there was no consensus among the political parties.

    The Steering Committee has so far conducted over 50 meetings and according to the sources, a broad agreement over vital aspects such as electoral reforms and devolution of power have been reached after lengthy discussions.

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