We launched FirstVote last week, which is a unique opportunity for our users to participate in a live online poll, every day, every week and to register for their voter card for 2014.
The 2014 Lok Sabha elections are probably going to be the most closely fought elections we have seen in the last two decades. This is also perhaps the one election where voters face a number of issues. In our poll, we've highlighted four key issues for users to choose from, in order to explain why they voted for a particular party.
The four options we gave to users were: the current state of economy, the issue of governance, secularism and personal ties with parties. Overall, we've noticed that currently the issue of governance and the current state of the economy were the most important considerations for voters, with governance edging the economy in key states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In the key state of Uttar Pradesh which has over 80 Parliamentary seats, the most important issue for voters was governance, followed by economy and then secularism.
The allegation that the Samajwadi Party has failed completely on the governance front has dominated headlines for some months now. From the issue of goonda raj to suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, governance in UP is seen as being at an all time low.
For the voters who hoped that its youngest ever chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would bring some change, the voting pattern seems to reflect their disgruntlement.
In Andhra Pradesh, which is witnessing a series of protests after the UPA cleared the plan to create Telangana, the most important issues were economy and governance. Andhra Pradesh, incidentally contributes 42 seats to Parliament.
Bihar, which is another key state with 42 seats, it is the issue of governance that mattered for our voters. The voting pattern is particularly interesting given that CM Nitish Kumar has been projecting Bihar has an example of good governance.
In Maharashtra too, which another big state which with 48 Parliamentary seats, governance, followed by the state of economy were the major issues. It's also an indicator for the current Prithviraj Chavan government that its policies may have not worked with the people and more may be needed.
In Karnataka, a state which the Congress recently wrested back from the BJP, the voters are most concerned about the economy followed by governance and secularism. The state has 28 seats.
In Congress-ruled National Capital Territory of Delhi, governance again was the deciding factor for voters. In Gujarat which has 26 seats, the state of economy and governance were the most important issues for voters. In Tamil Nadu as well governance was the key issue, followed by economy and personal history with parties. Tamil Nadu has 39 Parliamentary seats and is one of the most important state in South India.
Overall for voters on FirstVote, the issue of greatest concern for now is that of governance. Not surprising given good governance would also ensure a better state of economy.