New Delhi: In May, 2007 Mayawati's BSP romped home to a majority by winning 206 seats and five years later Mulayam Singh Yadav avenged the defeat with SP winning as many seats and leading in another 18.
Five years ago, BSP won largely riding on anti-incumbency wave against the SP, which was accused of encouraging 'goonda raj'.
SP this time has credited its performance to the anti-incumbency wave against the BSP rule, mired in cases of corruption including t he much talked about rural health scam.
Most of the top leaders of the ruling party have lost the electoral battle, prominent among them being Assembly Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar.
One of the few ministers who have won is Swami Prasad Maurya, who is also the state unit chief of BSP.
If SP is able to win the remaining seats and take its tally to 223 as project till late evening, it will break BJP's record of 1991 assembly elections of then undivided UP (which included Uttarakhand) when it won 221 of the 425 seats that time.
While in 2007 BSP had won 206 seats, this time its tally was 66 with leads in 14 other seats. Even if it wins all these 14 seats, the figure will come to 80 -- still 126 less than its previous performance.
In the last assembly polls, SP had won 97 seats.
During campaigning in the seven phase elections, the SP had consistently targeted the "misrule" of BSP.
Observers feel that the record overall 60 per cent polling in all the phases helped SP defeat BSP.
SP's performance is also an indicator that Muslims preferred SP to Congress which used the issue of minority sub-quota to attract the minority community.