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What is the meaning of In used in the following sentence

The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in 17 seats the BJP had won last time.

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The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in 17 seats the BJP had won last time.

The term "seats" means "parliamentary constituencies", i.e. electoral districts (Lexico).

A country can be divided into regions or states or counties, and states or provinces can be further divided into states. We can then refer to events taking place "in" or things happening "in" or things being recorded "in" those states, provinces, counties, regions, etc, and in towns, cities, countries.

In this case, the seats are in Assam. For electoral purposes, the Indian state of Assam is divided into a number of constituencies or seats. These are organised on a geographical basis, with one legislator elected to represent each seat or district.

So when we use "in" to refer to these seats, "in" has exactly the same meaning as when we refer to votes cast "in London" or "in China". It is an "in" of physical location. Of course, vote shares don't physically exist, but each ballot paper was cast in a physical location. So it's a fairly transparent use of "in".

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Q. What is the meaning of In used in the following sentence

The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in 17 seats the BJP had won last time.

The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in (connected with) seventeen of the seats that BJP had won last time.

In effect each of the individual seats has something in common "The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in each of them"

in preposition (CONNECTED WITH)

involved or connected with something, esp. with a job or subject:

Ref CED - In

Note The "of the" should have been included

seat noun [C] (OFFICIAL POSITION)

an official position as a member of a legislature or group of people who control an organization: Ref CED - Seat

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    Your bit about adding the word "the" is unclear, but you seem to have added it before "17 seats", even though you refer to it as "used before a singular noun". You also assume that it refers to "all the things or people represented by that noun". This isn't the case. Those 17 seats might only be a subset of the total seats won by the BJP - in which case, omitting the word "the" is correct.
    – rjpond
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:48
  • What @rjpond said. The original (without the before 17 seats) strongly implies they won other seats besides the 17 being discussed. If it is included that interpretation is completely ruled out (those 17 would have to be the only seats they won last). Mar 12, 2021 at 18:34
  • @ FumbleFingers My point here is that " Congress and AIUDF was higher in 17 seats" is in fact relating too each of the 17 seats. Therefore in effect each of the individual seats has something in common "The combined vote share of the Congress and AIUDF was higher in each of them". Maybe I should edit my answer to reflect this more clearly.
    – Brad
    Mar 13, 2021 at 0:11
  • @ FumbleFingers-2 In fact if you read the original article it does not suggest if they had more than 17 seats. However it also does not state they only won seventeen seats. Therefore your point is quite valid. Therefore as I still believe "the" needs to be placed before seats the solution would be "in seventeen of the seats that BJP had won last time.
    – Brad
    Mar 13, 2021 at 0:41

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