Although the CPI-M's vote share decreased by a 10,000 votes in the by-poll -- the first such election after Nandigram developments -- the party retained the seat mainly due to a split in the opposition votes.
However, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee stoutly refuses to buy the argument that though post-Nandigram the ruling Left Front was clearly in a disadvantageous position, the four-way division in the anti-CPI(M) votes helped the Marxists.
Mamata's 17-party Progressive Secular Democratic Front has local groups with hardly have any presence in the state. The BJP and Congress are not part of the this alliance.
Mamata points to the Uttar Pradesh experiment, where Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party swept the assembly election despite multi-cornered contests.
The TC supremo says while her party's vote share has touched almost 40 per cent, CPI-M received 10,000 less votes which was 'very significant'.