Amma's victory can be attributed also to her crushing blow to the alphabet soup of smaller parties in the state, particularly the bravado of Captain Vijaykanth who tried to assemble his own third front, refusing to ally with any of the larger parties or even the BJP. His dreams of emerging a kingmaker in a historic election blew up in his face as Amma took all the votes he was looking for, reducing that alliance to nothing. Casteist outfits like the PMK, Eelam-based outfits such as Vaiko's, and the breakaway Manila Congress, all bit the dust from the Amma juggernaut. And that is perhaps the highlight of the election: a fractured polity that Amma was able to take to her advantage. It is highly likely that in the event of a usual bipolar contest, she would've been defeated. Indeed, in the UT of Puducherry, she was defeated by the DMK-Congress alliance.
Some would attribute her victory to the list of freebies she has offered, but really, that has become so common in the state that nobody really wins on the basis of it - it is secondary. So many parties have done it so often that it has lost its novelty. The victory goes to her shrewd political calculations, including her decision not to antagonize the Central Government and thus follow her own path. She has five years ahead of her, while the Opposition needs to wonder how they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.