Assembly Election Result 2017: Ahead of exit polls, pre-poll surveys predict big gains for BJP in UP and Goa
We at Firstpost have gathered the key pre-poll surveys at one place to get a mood of the election season.
After a high-octane campaigning for over two months, results for the five poll-bound states —Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur — will be announced on 11 March. But before the counting of votes begins and the results are out, poll pundits get on to number crunching to predict different scenarios. We at Firstpost have gathered the key pre-poll surveys in one place to get a mood of the election season.
The data we are interpreting was collected till January 2017.
First, we begin with the comparison of two major opinion polls — one conducted by Axis My India and another by CSDS, with the polls of polls aggregated by News18. The polls focussed on three states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
While the findings of Axis-My India gives the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance 173 seats, the CSDS poll gives the alliance 19 more seats, taking its tally to 192. The News18 Polls of Polls, conducted in association with Gramener, a data science company, by aggregating the two polls, gives the alliance 181 seats.
The arch-rival BSP continues to face bad news from the pollsters. While the CSDS is charitable enough to place BSP with at least 81 seats, Axis My India predicted that the BSP will win only 41 seats. On aggregation, the News18 master poll predicts that the party will win 57 seats.
Let's go to the resurgent BJP. While the Axis My India poll puts BJP on top with 185 seats, the CSDS poll gives the saffron party only 123 seats. On aggregation, the master poll puts the final figure at 160 seats.
My Axis poll predicts a resounding victory for the BJP. While it expects the BJP to win 42 seats, it gives only 25 seats to the ruling Congress. The CSDS poll too gives the saffron party a majority. In the 70-member Assembly, it predicts the BJP to get a simple majority with 36 seats. Congress, the poll predicts, will slump to just 28 seats.
The Polls of Polls by News18 puts the cumulative tally at 40 for BJP and 26 for the Congress.
Both the polls predict that the Congress will do well in the election. While the Axis My India poll gives the grand old party, 62 seats, the CSDS survey keeps it at 51, eight short of a majority. As far as debutante Aam Aadmi Party is concerned, it is not expected to win a majority, but if both polls are to be believed, the party is likely to do well for a first-timer. The Axis My India poll gives AAP 42 seats, and the CSDS poll gives the Kejriwal-led party 30 seats.
However, it is bad news for the ruling BJP-SAD alliance. While the Axis My India predicts just 13 seats for the incumbent alliance, the CSDS polls seems more charitable, pegging the number of seats it can win at 32. An aggregate of the two polls puts Congress just one short of the majority at 58 seats, while the AAP comes second with 37 seats and the ruling SAD-BJP alliance at just 21 seats.
Demonetisation drive and public opinion
The five-state election is being held in the aftermath of the demonetisation drive which has been the talking point of politicians and pollsters alike. The election results will also be seen as a referendum on Modi's decision to demonetise the high-value currency notes.
All the major pre-poll surveys sought public opinion on the demonetisation drive of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. In general terms, respondents in every poll are by and large supportive of the move. However, the ABP-Lokniti-CSDS poll also comes across respondents who support the idea but are apprehensive about its implementation. While 41 percent of the respondents in Uttar Pradesh are supportive of the note ban, 30 percent are supportive but they lambasted the poor implementation.
The India Today-Axis poll recorded 42 percent positive response to the move, while 35 percent of the responses are negative.
However, in the Times Now-VMR poll, 63 percent of the respondents in India's largest state supported prime minister Modi's plan while only 32 percent opposed it.
India Today-Axis poll
The poll predicts a clear win for the BJP in the Goa Assembly, with 25 seats. The Congress, on the other hand, it predicts, will win only 13 seats while the debutant AAP may have to be content with just two seats. The poll also seeks to know people's choice for the post of chief minister of Goa.
Around 35 percent of the total respondents want Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar back as the chief minister. Former chief minister Digambar Kamat came a distant second, with 16 percent of the respondents wanting him to serve a second term. Incumbent Laxmikant Parsekar came third with 15 percent.
While Parsekar may not have been a popular chief ministerial choice, people seem to have a high level of satisfaction with his government's performance.
Fifty-three percent of the total respondents are reported to have expressed satisfaction with government's performance while only 44 percent of the respondents are unhappy with the saffron party's regime.
On the question of the most popular choice for the post of chief minister, the battle in the hill state seems evenly split between former chief minister BC Khanduri and the incumbent Harish Rawat.
Nevertheless, despite being a popular choice for the post of chief minister, respondents are unhappy with his government's performance. Around 56 percent of them answered in negative when asked to rate the government.
Around 54 percent of the respondents are unhappy with the SAD-BJP government's performance.
In India's largest and most populous state, the respondents seem evenly divided over their view on the Akhilesh Yadav government. While 49 percent of them are satisfied with the Samajwadi Party's rule, another 44 percent are unsatisfied.
Contrary to the India Today-Axis poll, Huffpost-CVoter poll puts Khanduri as a more popular chief ministerial candidate than Rawat.
The poll also predicts a very peculiar hung Assembly in the state with both Congress and BJP winning 34 seats in the 70-member Assembly.
In terms of vote share too, both parties are neck to neck with just a difference of 0.1 percent.
The poll predicts a hung Assembly in the state. While the Congress is expected to be the single largest party with 16 seats, the BJP is a close second with 15 seats.
While the BJP is predicted to be the largest party by vote share with 31 percent of the total votes, the Congress, which the poll predicts will win the most seats, is a distant second with 26 percentage vote share. The "others" play a spoilsport, dividing the anti-incumbency votes yet contributing to a hung Assembly.
The poll also ventured into the northeastern state.
While it expects the ruling Congress to lose power, winning just 19 seats, according to it, the BJP is likely to end up being the single largest party with 23 seats. The poll predicts that Trinamool Congress, NPF and independents may win the other 18 seats.
The pollster predicts a unique situation in the state, with regional parties winning more votes.
The poll does an in-depth breakdown of Uttar Pradesh's political dynamics.
While identifying the caste-based equations in the state, the poll reveals that around 73 percent of Yadavs and 74 percent of Muslim voters are likely to rally behind SP, while Jatavs may remain with the BSP. The poll suggests that while the Kurmi votebank is split between BJP and SP, non-Kurmi OBCs and upper caste voters are likely to boost BJP's chances in the poll.
The incumbent chief minister Akhilesh Yadav remains the most popular choice for the top post, with 26 percent of the respondents choosing him over Mayawati — a close second with 21 percent.
Times Now-VMR poll on Uttar Pradesh
The poll gives Uttar Pradesh to the BJP. It predicts the party to win 202 seats, with 34 percent vote share in the 403 member Assembly. According to the poll, the ruling Samajwadi Party, in alliance with the Congress is expected to be a distant second with 147 seats and 31 percent share of the total votes.
While the SP is set to be the runner-up in this opinion poll, its chief ministerial candidate Akhilesh emerged as the most popular choice for the top post.
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